Teens accused in crime spree have previous criminal record, police say

IMPD: Teens 'no strangers to law enforcement'

INDIANAPOLIS - Two Indianapolis teenagers have been arrested in connection with a crime spree that spanned several hours and several miles, and police said they are "no strangers to law enforcement."

Police said a 15-year-old and a 17-year-old are suspected of multiple robberies and shootings, and there could be more.

"There could be more victims that we don’t know about yet," said Deputy Chief Greg Bieberich with Metro police.

The teens are accused of robbing a woman in the 5800 block of Sapelo Drive, near Edgewood Avenue and Gray Road, just after 7:30 Wednesday morning.

Police said the woman was in her garage and getting ready to leave her home when the boys entered the garage, pistol whipped the woman and robbed her.

The teens have also been linked to an attempted robbery that happened around 7:40 Wednesday morning near Tammy Drive and Earl Drive in Southport.

Police said the boys are suspects in the fatal shooting of John Yingling, 38.

Yingling was fatally shot about 8 a.m. Wednesday while pulling out of his driveway in the 3300 block of Babette Court.

Yingling's wife said she had been talking to her husband on the phone as he was backing out of the driveway. She told police she heard a third person in the background before the call was disconnected.

"She believed she heard a problem in the background, the possibility that he was being assaulted or robbed. I'm not sure which. We're still working through all that and she called 911," said Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department Sgt. Linda Jackson

When police arrived at the home, they found Yingling unresponsive in his truck. He was pronounced dead at the scene.

"He was supposed to be at work at 10. He was backing out of his driveway to grab a Dr. Pepper and got murdered in his driveway," said Bruce Hatfield, Yingling's brother-in-law.

Hatfield said Yingling has a concealed carry permit and the gun he usually carried could not be located.

In a news conference Thursday, police would not comment on whether Yingling's gun had been found on the teens or if it had been used in any other incident.

The teens are also suspected in the shooting of Rex Souter, who was walking his dog near 56th Street and Dandy Trail.

Police said that shooting happened around 9:30 a.m., and the teens are suspected based on a description of the vehicle and the evidence recovered at the scene.

"The guy stuck his hand out the window and extended the pistol and started shooting and I thought there were probably five or six shots, but at that time I was kind of dancing, zigging and zagging, trying to be missed," Souter told RTV6

He said the vehicles left but then turned around and came back, firing more shots.

Souter was hit by one of the many bullets.

"It was a single bullet that went through my side, traveled under the skin for several inches but didn't damage anything else, so I was very fortunate," he said.

The spree came to an end in Hendricks County with a high-speed police chase and a crash involving four cars, police said.

The teens were in a 2003 blue Ford Expedition that police say was stolen.

The chase began in the area of 38th Street and Lafayette Road in Indianapolis, moved to Interstate 65, then west on 46th Street, over Eagle Creek before ending at 56th Street and Northfield Drive in Hendricks County when the SUV hit a tree.

Officers involved in the chase said they saw the teens throw something from the window of the SUV into Eagle Creek. A gun has been recovered from the creek, but investigators are still looking for another item.

Police said they are looking into the teens' potential involvement with several other robberies and vehicle thefts that occurred Wednesday and in previous days.

Bieberich said police anticipate filing additional charges against the teens in coming days.

Bierberich said this is not the teens' first run-in with the law.

"They are no strangers to law enforcement," he said. "They have numerous arrests in the past. They do have juvenile criminal histories."

A source told RTV6 the 15-year-old was on home detention and electronic monitoring for a vehicle theft conviction, and the 17-year-old has had 26 cases in the juvenile system with convictions for criminal trespass, drug possession and battery.

The Call 6 Investigators looked into the 17-year-old's criminal history and found he was put in detention at age 11 for threatening to kill himself and reportedly attacking his brothers with a knife. In 2008, police arrested the teen for creating a disturbance in a classroom, throwing over tables and filing cabinets. In 2009, he was taken to the hospital for trying to jump out of a moving vehicle.

Police have not released the names of the teens because of the ongoing investigation. Investigators are looking into the teens' known associations and prior

arrests.

Bieberich said there is no indication at this point that the teens' spree was related to gang activity.

The 17-year-old has not yet been questioned, because he is hospitalized with a medical condition unrelated to the crime spree.

Watch RTV6 and refresh this page for updates.

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