Dairy Queen sign calls out drug activity in its parking lot

The sign in front of a northwest Indianapolis Dairy Queen is getting attention for its message. (WTHR photo/Rich Nye)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - The Dairy Queen sign promotes spicy sweet glazed strips and Doordash delivery on the east side. But people are stopping by the business at 71st Street and Michigan Road to take photos of the spicy message on the flip side.

The message on the west side of the big sign out front reads "PARKING LOT – NOT FOR DRUG SALES THANK YOU."

Jenny Sturgis saw a photo of the sign on social media and drove by to see the sign and take a photo to show her husband.

The owner of the Dairy Queen at 71st and Michigan has a message for drug dealers. (WTHR photo)

"I do know that this area has some issues I would guess and I'm assuming that the Dairy Queen was tired of it," said Sturgis. "I think it's really brave. I don't know that I would have done that. But I guess if it's really a problem, then they're addressing it."

Robert Howard grew up in the neighborhood. He stopped and pulled out his smartphone for a photo to show his friend.

"I can't help it," said Howard. "It's funny as hell. They have a point. They really do have a point. It really is actually sad, because wow, Dairy Queen, of all places, Dairy Queen."

Dairy Queen owner Michael Yacko said he put the message up Thursday night because he's fed up with drug activity around his business. But he lives in the neighborhood and says he's not going anywhere. Yacko has owned the Dairy Queen 10 years and supports police and community organizations.

The litter around his business indicates drug activity, with rubber gloves and small baggies lying in the grass under the sign. The owner says heroin is the problem. He has found needles in the parking lot and inside bathroom.

Yacko says it's not unusual to have to call police a couple times a week because of drug activity. IMPD reports about 100 police incidents in the last month within a about a mile radius of 71st and Michigan.