Suspect beaten with golf club during break-in attempt may have committed earlier robbery

A robbery suspect who held two women at gunpoint Thursday morning may be the same man who was captured and beaten in a second robbery attempt, police said.

The first break-in was reported about 2 a.m. in the 5600 block of Whitcomb Terrace. A woman said she was sitting near a window using her iPad when a masked man threw a brick through the sliding door to gain entry into the back of the home. 

The man held a gun to the two women inside – a mother and a daughter – and forced them to blindfold each other.  The man then ransacked the home, taking an iPad, credit cards and a purse, before running away, police said. 

The women were not injured, but police said the daughter had a seizure just after the break-in, likely caused by the stressful situation. When the woman attempted to call for medical help, the man ran from the home. 

Police described the intruder as a black man in his mid-20s, about 5 feet 9 inches tall and 120 pounds. He was wearing a gray hooded sweatshirt, dark pants with a black and white scarf on his head.

At 5 a.m., a thief entered a home on the 3500 block of Glen Arm Road. The intent was clearly to steal, police said, but the residents inside refused to be victimized.

"He was so strong my uncle got a gold club and hit him in the face, and then made a big hole right here," said resident Alexis Martinez.

Martinez's family of 12 was able to subdue and hold the suspect, identified as 25-year-old D.J. Fancher, until police arrived to arrest him.

Officials said Fancher was beaten so badly during the robbery attempt that he had to be taken to Eskenzai Hospital.

"If you are a thief and you break into someone's house, you take a very big risk not knowing what is on the other side of the door, or window," said IMPD Lt. Christopher Bailey. "In this particular case, the suspect chose the wrong house."

Bailey said the suspect may have committed both burglaries, but that they have not made a definitive call on that.

In an unrelated incident of crime victims fighting back, police were called to 10th Street and Arlington Avenue on the east side after a carjacking victim shot their assailant in the leg. That incident occurred around 9 a.m.

Anyone with information about either break-in is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS.

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