Businesses along State Road 933 say robberies are up from last year

Clay Township, Ind. -- Shops on State Road 933 are on high alert after several businesses reported being robbed over the last couple weeks.

Just Sunday morning, the store manager at U.S. 31 Tobacco Shop, who is several months pregnant, was duct taped and robbed at gun point.


Employees at the shop say it is not the first time this has happened this month. Each of the stores locations, which sit side by side to one an other, were held up twice in the last few weeks.


The woman who was robbed is expecting twins and was targeted by the thieves as she was opening the store for the day.


Now, this latest attack has others nearby on edge. Terri Laudeman works as a cashier at the Smoke Shack Mini Mart off of State Road 933, less than a block away from where Sunday's robbery happened.

Laudeman says the number of robberies and break-ins at local stores, like the one she works at, is much higher this year.


"I think that this year is worse because more people are out of work and desperate. So, that's why I think it's increased," says Laudeman.


Laudeman says she has also been robbed. It happened about three weeks ago, which is why she now takes extra precautions when she the only one working at her store.


"It's scary, but now we are getting some extra help. Police are going to patrol more and now I have someone come sit with me at night. All of us shops watch out for each other and all keep each other informed," says Laudeman.


That is why Laudeman was one the first to hear about the early morning robbery at U.S. 31 Tobacco Shop.


The three men tied up the 24-year-old employee and made off with her cell phone, cash and car. That is not all the robbers took, though. They also snatched the store's surveillance monitor and tapes, something these businesses say they have not seen before.

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