IMPD chief has strong words for assault suspects

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IMPD is issuing a warning after a series of violent home attacks.

Each of the attacks involves at least four people breaking into homes and tying up families.

The latest happened Tuesday morning on 79th Street, just east of College Avenue.

Monday, contractors found an 83-year-old woman bound and gagged in her home on North Jefferson Street. Last Thursday, someone tied up and robbed a family near 70th Street and Spring Mill Road.

"We will find you. We will hunt you down," said IMPD Chief Rick Hite to the people breaking into homes, robbing and assaulting homeowners. "We want to send a message to them. 'You do not rob and pillage in Indianapolis.'"

In the normally quiet Windcombe neighborhood, where the latest break-in, robbery and assault occurred on a family Tuesday, most of the victims' neighbors didn't want to talk about it.

"Everyone is up in arms," said Windcombe Neighborhood Association President Paul Forbes.

Forbes said the once-safe neighborhood was on edge and didn't feel safe any longer.

"What it does is wake us up. What it does is tell us that we can't take anything for granted," said Forbes.

That's why Windcombe's neighborhood crime watch that has seen less participation in recent years, could now see a strong revival.

"I think after this, it'll be no problem," said Forbes.

Hite said those neighbors in crime watches won't be alone.

"We're going to walk the streets. We're going to be out there and we're going to be in the neighborhoods. We're going to be walking wherever we need to convince people, we'll walk with you," he said.

In the moments when police aren't there, however, that's when Hite said it's time for neighbors to take care of each other.

"We have to look out for each other. If you see people in your neighborhood who don't belong there, we want to know about it. Call us let us know," said Hite.

The chief encouraged another kind of call, too, an anonymous one to Crime Stoppers to catch those responsible.

"We also know for a fact, there are people who know who they are," said Hite.

Hite would not say whether detectives believe the break-ins are connected. He would only say investigators have been looking at all possibilities, but did not want to give any trade secrets away, because their priority is finding those responsible and putting them away.