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INDIANAPOLIS — A stolen U-Haul led to a drug bust on Indianapolis’ near east side.

Last week, an alert east district officer spotted two women acting suspicious inside a U-Haul truck on Parker Avenue near 10th and Rural and took action.

“He ran the license plate on the U-Haul and found the U-Haul had been reported stolen, so this was a very good proactive stop,” said IMPD East District Commander Richard Riddle.

Inside the truck the officer found heroin, marijuana, counterfeit money and an illegally possessed handgun.

Handgun recovered from stolen U-Haul.

Commander Riddle says because of crime data and citizen complaints, extra patrols have become a priority near 10th and Rural. In that way, the case serves as an example of IMPD’s data driven approach to combating crime.

“When you hear IMPD talk about data driven policing, it goes to people, places and locations where we know crime is occurring,” explained Riddle.

As part of IMPD’s focus on data driven policing, every day officers are given detailed crime reports tracking serious crimes on their beats over the last 24 hours.

“We’re sending our officers out to areas where we know we can affect some change,” said IMPD Lt. Joshua Gisi.

Lt. Gisi helps prepare the daily briefings, which on Friday highlighted a concentration of shots fired that needed to be monitored.

“We know exactly where we should be. We’re not driving around wasting city gas and time and effort. We’re going to the right place looking for the right people,” said Gisi.

Example of IMPD daily data briefing.

According to court records, the two women arrested in the stolen U-Haul both have lengthy criminal records, and Commander Riddle believes getting repeat offenders and illegal drugs and guns off the streets is critical to preventing violent crime.

“If we can target those people who are illegally possessing firearms and illegally possessing narcotics, we hope that will lower our crime rate,” said Riddle.

Both suspects remain behind bars at the Marion County Jail facing drug and weapons related charges.