Women getting armed, trained after home invasions

Published: .
Updated: .

More women in central Indiana are arming themselves, as more information comes out about a violent neighborhood crime spree that includes rapes, robberies, and attacks.

Investigators now say another woman was sexually assaulted during a recent home invasion, adding to the growing list of victims during the crimes.

Thursday, police and prosecutors will announce new charges against the ten people arrested for the neighborhood crime spree. But already, more women are taking action to protect themselves and their families.

Becky Bartone never thought she'd be shooting at targets, practicing her aim against a potential intruder. But firing a weapon was born out of fear. On the news, she's seen the violence - men and women not only robbed, but victimized.

"It's actually terrifying. It seems like every day there's another one or two home invasions," Bartone said.

So Becky, not really a "gun person," decided to get armed and get trained for one simple reason.

"The fear of someone coming into my home and being defenseless," Bartone explained.

She's just one of dozens of Indianapolis women now taking action not only to buy a gun, but become trained on how to use it to stop a criminal. She has her conceal/carry license and her certificate from an NRA basic pistol course.

"I wanted to make sure I knew what I was doing and that I took all the safety precautions that there are to take," Bartone said.

Indy Safe Guns in Fishers says it's now receiving 15 calls an hour for the basic class. They also have specific defensive courses on personal and home protection. Women make up about half of the callers, looking for training.

"Responsible people are coming out of the woodwork to get trained," explained Indy Safe Guns president Randall DeWitt.

For Becky, it's about empowerment.

"This is just another part, I guess, of protecting myself and my home," Bartone said.

And if her home is targeted, she says she'll no longer be defenseless.

"I'll yell out and let them know I'm armed so hopefully they'll turn around and leave," Bartone said. "But yeah, I'll be ready."