INDIANAPOLIS — Authorities are asking for help identifying three female suspects wanted for robbery in connection to a crime that occurred at a store on the east side.
Officers with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department responded to the Target at 10202 East Washington Street just after 4:30 p.m. on October 15 for a report of a disturbance with a weapon, according to a police report.
Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana said the three suspects filled an entire shopping cart with various items, but did not pay for anything.
A police report shows the cart was filled with clothing and other goods. Before taking off, about half of the items were rung up, totaling more than $600, none of which was paid for.
“These three ladies come marching into Target; they grab a cart. It all looks fairly normal quite honestly,” said Daniel Rosenberg with Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana. “They go through the store, they’re shopping, they get one really large cart full and the loss prevention is kind of just keeping an eye on everybody.”
Rosenberg said video showed the loss prevention officer approaching the three individuals as they were exiting the store to ask for a receipt of purchase for the items.
“These three ladies, you can see them very distinctly, there’s no masks, anything like that. One with the hoodie comes over and as she gets closer, she just reaches out with a pink stun gun and hits him right in the chest and he kind of goes down,” said Rosenberg.
Crime Stoppers said the suspects rushed to a white SUV, which they left in, but not before a mall security guard, who attempted to help, was hit in the face.
“Not only have they used force now, but they’ve used a weapon to take this cart of goods right out of the store, right in front of everyone,” said Rosenberg.
Crime Stoppers said the female suspect accused of using an electronic stun device is described as having worn a dark sweatshirt, a shower cap, and carrying a pink stun gun.
Police are asking who may be able to help identify the three individuals allegedly involved to call Crime Stoppers of Central Indiana at (317) 262-TIPS (8477).
“You have a case that really makes you think. What happens next time? Where do we go from here? What does escalation look like? Two people hurt over really what should have been a shoplifting case but turns into a robbery due to the weapon and due to the force,” said Rosenberg.
He called the theft and assault ‘brazen,’ given the time of day that it occurred, in a busy store littered with cameras, and the lack of regard for others’ safety and well-being.
“Store property is one thing. We don’t anybody taking that, but personal injury, that raises the stakes for everybody,” said IMPD Sgt. Randall Denny. “Innocent people get hurt. Sometimes the thieves get hurt. Nobody wins.”
While officials said the specific details of this crime aren’t something they see every day, they can’t emphasize enough taking steps to protect yourself if you’re out shopping. As the holidays approach, with more people at malls and stores, IMPD is offering some tips to stay safe.
“Holiday safety, we tend to bring it up during holidays, but you can use it year-round,” said Denny.
Denny said people should always aim to park in a spot in a parking lot that is well-lit and not isolated from other vehicles. In doing so, he said you can see people around you and they can see you, too.
One of the key rules of thumb, IMPD shared, is to always make sure your vehicle is locked and be aware of what items people can see inside your vehicle.
“Thieves like to go for purses; anything that looks valuable,” said Denny.
That’s why he reminds that it’s important to keep anything out of sight and locked in a trunk or covered up if you have an SUV.
“If they can’t see it, chances are, they’re going to move on,” Denny said.
While many stores have loss prevention officers and other security, Denny said their beat officers are familiar with suspects in cases and always keeping an eye out during their patrols for anyone who may have been allegedly involved in a crime.
“They’re really good at finding them,” he added.
Denny said people should make efforts to protect the property on yourself, including bags and purses by being aware of your surroundings and looking for anything that may appear suspicious, like a person following you.
Should you notice someone or something out of place, IMPD suggests getting to a safe place and notifying authorities so they can come and help.