Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

June 18, 2013

BPD searches for potential serial robber

Bart Doan

— Brownsburg Police Department officers were ensconced in search efforts Tuesday morning when the Finer Things location in the Main Street Shoppes center was robbed around 10 a.m.

This comes as the third in a string of county robberies where the suspect description is the same, that of a male anywhere from his late teens to early 20s with a thin build, around 5 feet 8 inches tall, and wearing a dark gray hoodie. Avon police responded to a robbery on Monday of an Extreme Tanning location, and June 13, the same suspect description was given in a Marathon Gas Station robbery in Avon.

In all cases, the suspect was said to be brandishing a firearm. The BPD set a wide perimeter in searching for the suspect, who reportedly left northbound on foot from the Main Street Shoppes center. They used K9 officers to aid with the search.

Det. Sgt. Jennifer Pyatt-Barrett of the BPD said a lone female employee was preparing to open up Finer Things, a gift shop style store, when the man, whom she said she saw walk by previously, entered the location and displayed what she believed to be a black 9 mm handgun.

“He actually apologized for what he was about to do, but said he needed the money,” explained Pyatt-Barrett of the interaction he had with the employee.

Pyatt-Barrett said that he took an undetermined amount of money, but the female employee was not backing down.

“At some point, she believed the gun may not be a real gun, at which point she tried to take the money back, and at which time he left on foot northbound from the business,” she said. “You never know if it’s a real gun or not a real gun, and if someone’s prepared to enter your business and take something from you, our best policy would be to give it and not put up a fight.”

She said the perimeter would be set until police had either caught the suspect, or felt that he was no longer in the area.

Pyatt-Barrett said that the store did make use of surveillance cameras, and they do have videos from several other businesses that they hope will aid in identifying the suspect.

“We do have a couple of potential witnesses, and we hope they will be able to provide more information,” she said.

It was not exactly the way the store wanted to celebrate it’s one-year anniversary, and a posting on their Facebook page notified customers that they would be closing for the day shortly after the robbery occurred.

“Thank God that no one was hurt. I can't express how grateful I am for that,” said the posting on the store’s Facebook page. “Money is money — it comes and it goes. These folks who work here and make art for here and who shop here, I love. I'm so thankful that everyone is ok.

“Thanks to the authorities for getting to the shop so very quickly and taking the time to thoroughly investigate.”

Anyone with more information is urged to contact the BPD at 852-1109.