INDIANAPOLIS — A father and son are in jail accused of a series of armed robberies on Indy’s near west and near southwest sides.
Following 6 robberies in 3 weeks, the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department put the father and son under surveillance and arrested the pair just a few minutes after they allegedly robbed a McClure Oil gas station on Rockville Road.
IMPD said the crimes started at a Dollar General on W. Washington Street in late April. That crime was followed by a second Dollar General on Morris Street, a food mart on Harding Street, back to the Dollar General on W. Washington St. and then a Family Dollar and a Speedway.
Investigators believe 31-year-old Shane Onstott Jr. robbed all of those businesses before being caught robbing the McClure Oil, while his 50-year-old father Shane Onstott Sr. served as a getaway driver during some of the crimes.
“It’s good that our detectives were able to identify who these individuals are and put a stop to these series of events,” said IMPD Lt. Shane Foley.
Lt. Foley said fortunately no one was hurt during any of the robberies.
According to court records, Shane Jr. admitted to nearly all the crimes and told IMPD detectives that he used a silver lighter in the shape of a handgun to scare the victims.
“People were in fear for their lives,” Foley said. “When someone points a gun at them, they don’t stop and look if it’s a real gun or a toy. They think that’s real. For them that’s a real fear.”
IMPD claims that Shane Sr. was on GPS monitoring following multiple drug convictions last year and that the GPS device placed him near several of the crimes.
The affidavit also says that Shane Sr. told IMPD he knew his son planned to shoplift the stores, but didn’t know about the robberies.
For their part, Foley said IMPD will continue to crack down on serial robbers, using covert teams to track trends and make arrests. He said the hope is that this case is a warning to other would-be thieves.
“What we find is individuals involved in robberies are often involved in a series of robberies,” said Foley. “If you’re committing robberies, you need to watch out because our covert robbery unit is hard at work to stop those robberies from taking place.”
In addition to his legal problems in Marion County, Shane Jr. also had an active arrest warrant since September related to a theft case in Shelby County.