Crime alert issued after 2 armed robberies near canal, White River State Park

Police have no suspects

INDIANAPOLIS - A crime alert has been issued for people who frequent the canal and White River State Park.

Indiana State Police are investigating two armed robberies there in the past two weeks.

The first robbery occurred Feb. 13 at 9 p.m. along the canal walk when a lone gunman walked up on someone talking on a cellphone.

The second robbery occurred Friday when two armed suspects, described as Hispanic males, accosted a male jogger and demanded his wallet. They struck him with a piece of wood and fled eastbound toward the zoo.

Just before leaving on her daily training run, Heather Tilton's boss warned her of the recent robberies near White River State Park.

"I think it's sad you can't go out and enjoy the day without somebody stealing your iPod," Tilton said. "That's what most runners carry on them anyway. It's very sad."

IUPUI student Clara Mendoza said she was surprised to hear about the crimes.

"Kids walk around here late at night," Mendoza said. "I didn't think there would be robberies down here. I'm surprised."

Area resident Janelle Sea said she will still visit the area during the day.

"I think with any city, you're going to get that sort of thing," Sea said. "It's not going to stop me from walking down here during the day. I'm definitely not going to come after dark and watch my back."

Because one of the robbery victims was an IUPUI student, the school issued a safety advisory to students, suggesting among other things, that if their instincts tell them to run, scream, kick, hit or bite, that they do so with a full commitment of their effort.

"It depends on the situation. If you can get away, you should probably get away," said IUPUI student John Fullenkamp. "But fighting back isn't really the best options all the time. I mean, you should call for help, get someone to help you."

State police don't believe the two robberies are connected, and they have no leads or good descriptions on the suspects.


Follow Jack Rinehart on Twitter: @jackrinehart6

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