Women being targeted in latest Indianapolis armed robberies
An unsettling trend has developed in Indianapolis over the past several days where women are being targeted by armed men.
In at least five separate crimes, women were targeted by men with guns, in driveways, carports or parking spaces.
The attacks are happening all over the metro area and at different times. In many of the reports, the women getting robbed at gunpoint are caught off guard outside their homes.
A man with a gun surprised an Indianapolis northwest side mother in the parking lot. She lives in the Mayfield Green Apartments. He forced her to the ATM to withdraw money and even drove her to a nearby gas station before allowing her out of her own car.
Another woman got robbed at gunpoint while getting out of the car on the city's far southeast side. In that case a man took her purse, cell phone and keys.
In a separate attack, a man with a gun robbed a woman leaving an east side ATM. They got away leaving her frightened, but she told us what happened.
"The next thing I knew I heard footsteps so I turned my head and looked. There were two young men who approached me and one of them had a gun. He was like, 'I need you to give me what you got in the ATM.' I was like, 'What do you want?' The gentleman, or the young guy that was standing behind me said they needed a couple of hundred dollars. I was like, 'I don't have a couple of hundred in there,'" she said.
April gave them what little money she had and believes since she cooperated with the gunman she avoided getting hurt. She says she's used the same ATM - on New York St. on the Indianapolis east side - for years without any problems. Now she's urging others not to make themselves an easy target.
"I was really scared of what was going to happen," she said.
While there's nothing to say all the crimes are connected, April is urging women everywhere to keep up their guard, even at home.
"Make sure someone is with you, even if it's another female. That is a witness to help and see what is going on and someone that can call the police while it's happening," she said.
When you're arriving or leaving your home, police say you're at one of your most vulnerable moments.
Unfortunately, driveway robberies are a reality. But crime experts say there are things you can do to protect yourself.
Turn off your radio so you can be more aware of your surroundings.
Look for unfamiliar cars or strangers in your neighborhood.
If you think you're being followed, do not go home. Instead, go to a police station or a fire station to get help.
If you park in a garage and use a remote control, close the garage door while you're still in your locked vehicle.
Keep an eye on the garage door area.
If you do become a victim, police say to comply with the robber's requests while keeping your eyes open.
Pay attention to detail so you can call 911 immediately afterwards.