INDIANAPOLIS - Police are searching for three men who they said robbed and sexually assaulted a woman in her home on the southeast side early Wednesday morning.
The incident happened in the 3800 block of South LaSalle Street, officials with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department said.
The victim told authorities she looked out the window and saw a man shoveling her driveway. Minutes later she answered the suspect's knock at the door, police said.
The suspect pushed his way inside and two other men quickly followed. Officials with IMPD said the victim was sexually assaulted during the ordeal. They said she was traumatized by the events.
"I think they attempted to blend into the neighborhood. I think they were acting like they were doing something good for someone. And I'd hate to say not trust somebody. But take all the precautions and make sure you know who it is before you answer," Detective Rick Burkhardt with IMPD Sex Crimes said.
Police say they tied up the victim and spent at least 15 minutes inside the residence. The suspects stole a large flat-screen TV, some electronics and at least two handguns, police said.
When they left, the victim ran to a neighbor’s for help.
"It's happening all over town where they're breaking into people's homes whether they’re home or not, taking their cars and hitting them over the head," resident Ron Bonham said.
All three suspects wore hoodies and masks over their faces to hide their identities. Residents in the neighborhood told police they saw a dark-colored or black SUV-like vehicle parked in the neighborhood shortly before the attack.
IMPD officials hope the incident serves as a reminder that homeowners don’t have to answer the door to anyone, even if they are shoveling snow in the driveway.
If it doesn’t look right or seem right, police say to call 911.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 317-262-TIPS. Anonymous tips can also be submitted online at crimetips.org or by texting "INDYCS" plus tip information to 274627.
Follow Jack Rinehart on Twitter: @jackrinehart6