Air Force veteran helps police catch robbery suspects

Suspects might be responsible for 12 other cases

BROWNSBURG, Ind. - Police are giving credit to two men who were inside a Brownsburg restaurant early Wednesday morning for helping to capture three robbery suspects.

The three suspects, Darian Dowdell, Armand Fuller and Fletcher Greer, allegedly robbed a Steak 'n Shake shortly after midnight. Police believe the men could be connected to a dozen other robberies in Marion County dating back to November.

Troy Spence and his dad were enjoying time at home when they had a late-night craving for a cheeseburger, so they headed to Steak 'n Shake.

After placing his order, Spence, a former Pittsboro cop and Air Force veteran, said something felt weird when he looked up and saw the server behind the counter.

"There was a male individual real close to her he had a backpack on and it seemed weird," Spence said.

He said he had a sense of what was happening.

"She sounded scared a little bit so I told my dad I think this place is being held up," Spence said.

He told his dad to stay calm and keep talking like normal. He knew a police officer friend who was working at the time.

"Meanwhile I sent a text message to him letting him know Steak ‘n Shake was being robbed," Spence said.

He said he then made eye contact with a suspect who was wearing a ski mask as the suspect and the server headed to the back of the kitchen.

"I could hear some muffled screaming in the back so I told my dad to run," Spence said.

His dad left and he joined him moments later. They got into his dad’s car and waited for the suspects' vehicle to leave.

"I called 911 while we were en route and pursuing them, we followed them on 74 and within seconds between the Brownsburg and Pittsboro exit, another officer showed up and maneuvered in behind them so we pulled off at that point and let them do their thing," Spence said.

After the exciting series of events, the two men decided to go back and get what they went out for in the first place -- a cheeseburger.

The three suspects remain in the Hendricks County Jail on preliminary charges of robbery, criminal confinement and pointing a firearm.

Follow Drew Smith on Twitter: @drewsmith1

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