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Suspects Identified in Elkhart robbery of man in wheelchair

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ELKHART, Ind. --- Elkhart police are searching for two suspects who robbed an elderly man in a wheelchair outside of Central Christian church.

The incident happened on June 29 and now investigators are calling on the community to help them hold the suspects accountable.

“So unable to defend himself…it’s just, really sad,” Elkhart resident, Yuki Gilbert, said as she watched the video footage.

The violent crime—all caught on camera.

According to police, the suspects have been identified, but there hasn't been a release of their names. 

“It just devastates me, you know, we need to treat others like we’d like to be treated and that is not a way that I think anybody’s loved one should be treated,” Gilbert said.

A 61-year-old man in a wheelchair was beaten and robbed in the parking lot corridor of Central Christian church on June 29.

Two suspects, a man and a woman, approached the victim and rustled around with his belongings.

That is when the incident escalated as the pair is seen in surveillance video hitting the man in the face before taking off with his money.

The incident has left neighbors shocked.

“It’s one thing to be preyed upon just in the community, but when you think about a church, most people think about it being sacred, so to see something like that happen right in the corridor the church…it’s just…overwhelmingly disturbing,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert is the mother of two young children who attend day care inside of Central Christian church.

The church, along Franklin St., is also just feet away from Beck park where children come to play.

“It makes you feel just unsafe,” Gilbert said. “And it makes me feel a bit as though this man was violated."

A church is supposed to be a place of refuge, not somewhere a person comes to be taken advantage of.

“But to be right here in our own community and see someone violated in such a totally disrespectful way, it’s just disheartening…absolutely disheartening,” Gilbert said.

Gilbert said everyone in the community should come together to make sure this type of incident never happens again.

The Elkhart Police are still asking if you have any information, contact Elkhart Police at (574) 295-7070 or Det. Gayton #443 at (574) 295-7076 or tips@elkhartpolice.org.

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