Franklin Twp. family catches home invasion suspects on security camera

A Franklin family captured home invasion suspects on security camera before they broke in. (Photo: Josh Smith)

INDIANAPOLIS (WTHR) - A central Indiana family hopes someone recognizes men seen in home security video or their car after a scary home robbery.

When the family spoke with Eyewitness News, they talked about the home invasion to explain how they believe the men got in. They want people on social media to look at the video to see if they know who they are so it doesn’t happen to other families.

In the home security video, you can see four men get out of the car. The suspects parked on their street in the Harmony subdivision on the city's southeast side shortly after midnight, but one of them returned to the car right away.

The remaining three men ended up inside the home of Josh Smith. They came in immediately making threats to him and other family members.

"They had guns, they basically came straight down the hallway pointing guns yelling at us looking for, I think they were yelling at us, where is cash, that kind of stuff," Smith said.

Josh and his family have always felt safe at home in the Harmony housing addition. They have spent more than 10 years in the house and neighborhood with no major crime incidents. So this is the most violent thing they have had to deal with since living in Harmony. The three men didn't hurt his family, but left with some of their belongings.

"They got my phone, my mother-in-law's phone, my wallet, Xbox, games and controllers for it and a tablet," said Smith. "They saw the dogs and they said, 'Keep the dogs away.' They didn't go into that room and that is where the wife and two kids were sleeping."

The robbers got in through the garage door the family left open by accident. The family does have an alarm system. Until now, they have only armed the system at bedtime. But that will change now for their safety. Fortunately, the family dogs kept the robbers away from the front bedroom where his wife and children were at the time of the home invasion. She was able to quietly call 911, but the suspects managed to flee before police arrived to their home.

Josh is warning other families not to make the same mistake they did, leaving their garage door open and the door unlocked to the house inside the garage.

"Double your doors and windows and make sure there is not an easy access," he said.

Josh's warning about staying safe couldn't come at a better time. The father of a 13-year-old girl believes the very same men approached her outside their south side home. They live about 10 minutes away from Harmony housing addition.

His daughter recognized the same car caught on camera as the car the men drove while approaching her on a neighborhood walk in broad daylight. The men reportedly kept trying to lure her to the car.

"They kept hollering and hooting, wanting her phone number, wanting to talk to her," the girl's father said. "They wanted her close to the car. Then she told them, 'No, leave me alone.' Then she would walk ahead and they would do it again."

The 13-year-old girl made it home safe. But her father shared with Eyewitness News that the incident has had a serious impact on her sense of security. The girl has been afraid to spend time outside since then, even though she is on her summer break from school.

Anyone who may recognize the men or the car in the home security video can call Crime Stoppers anonymously at 317-262-TIPS. All calls to the tip line are 100% confidential. If your tip leads to an arrest, you will receive up to $1,000 in cash reward money, no questions asked.

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