INDIANAPOLIS — People walking and jogging Monday morning along the Canal Walk in downtown Indianapolis called for increased police patrol — and civilian vigilance — following a string of recent incidents in the area.
Two armed robberies were reported Saturday night along the canal, according to police records, and remained under investigation Monday night.
The first robbery was reported at 10:05 p.m. on the Canal Walk. Incident reports do not provide a specific location.
The second robbery was reported at 11:15 p.m. on the Canal Walk, below West Michigan Street.
Authorities were unable to confirm a link between the two crimes.
At least one of the incidents may have involved a teenager armed with a gun, according to sources close to the investigation.
Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department (IMPD) officials declined to release documents Monday afternoon related to either weekend case.
An IMPD spokesperson disputed claims the cases remained unsolved and revealed suspects had been taken into custody.
“We made arrests,” the public information officer said. “If we make an arrest, the case is solved.”
The Marion County Prosecutor’s Office indicated charging documents had not yet been filed Monday night and declined to confirm if potential suspects included a juvenile.
Less than three weeks before the Saturday canal robberies, a group of teenagers attacked a jogger near NCAA Headquarters on Washington Street, according to Indiana University police.
The victim in the Feb. 26 robbery said he was running near the canal when the teens approached him from behind, punched him in the face, sprayed him with a burning liquid and stole his wallet.
James Priest, an Indianapolis resident who works near the canal, said he spends up to nine hours a day downtown and “is no longer shocked” by violent crime near the water.
“I’ve been robbed myself,” he said. “You have to pay attention to your surroundings.”
Priest said his cell phone was stolen two months ago by a slick suspect who evaded identification and arrest.
He claimed he witnessed another unsolved robbery about four months ago near Michigan Street and Senate Avenue, above the Canal Walk.
“I saw a guy get robbed of basically everything that he owned,” said Priest. “He got stripped down to his underwear. It was a crazy situation.”
Warner Berry, an Indianapolis resident who visits the Canal Walk several times a year, said he was shocked by the latest “crazy situation.”
“There should be [law enforcement] patrol stepped up, at least on bikes or possibly on foot, to ensure people’s safety,” he said Monday morning while walking his dog near the canal.
Berry made a note to avoid the area at night and urged others to do the same in light of the violent crime reports.
“For people to be on the canal robbing people is just really sad,” he said, shaking his head.
Story by Julia Deng