INDIANAPOLIS — Police in Indianapolis arrested an 18-year-old and two 16-year-olds following a series of carjackings and robberies of people pumping gas at local gas stations.
The suspects are accused of two carjackings and a third robbery. Both of the carjackings and the robbery happened in September, according to IMPD.
On Sept. 26, police say a red Honda Civic was carjacked near the intersection of N. Mitthoefer Rd. and 38th Street. A few hours after the car was stolen, it was also used during a robbery in the 3700 block of E. Washington Street.
The victim of the robbery on Washington recalls pumping gas when he was assaulted.
“I was kind of moving backward and that’s when the one guy hit me in the back of the head,” said Frank Williams.
Frank Williams recalls standing next to his car at an Amoco on East Washington last month when he was approached by one man who served as a distraction. While speaking to that suspect, Williams was punched and then pepper sprayed before falling into his driver’s seat.
“When I fell into the car, I had left the car running and the door was open, so I threw it into drive and punched the accelerator,” said Williams.
With the gas nozzle still attached, Frank sped away to escape the attack, although the suspects were able to steal his phone.
Just over a week earlier, police believe the same suspects stole another man’s car at gunpoint at a different gas station on East Washington.
That was followed by the carjacking of a man driving the red Civic who was pumping gas at the Phillips 66 on East 38th Street.
Police claim the suspects were seen on video driving both stolen cars to the Amber Woods Apartments.
IMPD robbery detectives then worked with the FBI to track down the Civic on Sept. 27. After a short pursuit, police took two individuals, the two 16-year-olds into custody.
“My reaction is it’s very sad that teenagers, kids of that age, feel the need to do this kind of thing. It saddens me,” said Williams.
As police continued to investigate, they identified a third suspect, 18-year-old Rodriguez Hunt. He was arrested on October 7.
After being arrested, the two juvenile suspects denied taking part in the robberies while court records claim the 18-year-old confessed.
According to the affidavit, Rodriguez Hunt admitted to police some of the victims were targeted because they looked older and would require “less force” to rob.
“I felt like I’m 65 years old and it takes three guys to attack a 65-year-old man? That makes me pretty angry,” said Williams.
“Gas stations are becoming a dangerous place to go,” said Reverend James Jackson. “There’s a trend where bad actors are targeting people at gas stations.”
Rev. James Jackson’s church is less than a half mile from the gas station on 38th Street. Just last week he cautioned everyone to be alert while at the pump. Frank agrees with that advice.
“The thing I’ve shared with people is that it really can happen to anyone,” said Williams.
The 18-year-old suspect is being held on a $50,000 bond pending the filing of formal charges.
Reporter Jesse Wells contributed to this article.