WTHR - Indianapolis News Weather -Three arrested, but search for bus stop robbery suspects continues

Three arrested, but search for bus stop robbery suspects continues

Posted: Jan 23, 2009 01:32 PM EST

Updated: Jan 23, 2009 03:47 PM EST

Indianapolis - Three people were arrested Friday as police tried to track down a car connected to Thursday's bus stop robberies.

Metro police were on the trail of a Dodge Intrepid seen at the four incidents where children were robbed. Police say a Dodge Neon was behind the Intrepid when it seemed to block officers' vehicles from following the Intrepid.

The driver of the Neon stopped in a parking lot. Three men got out of the car and ran into a nearby apartment building. The three men were arrested after the Neon came up stolen.

At this point police don't know if the three men arrested are connected to the bus stop robberies. They say it could simply be a stolen vehicle case, but they are looking into why the Neon blocked the officers from pursuing the Intrepid, which got away.

Meantime, police are stepping up patrols as they search for the suspects Thursday's bus stop robberies.

Metro police held a news conference Friday morning. They were joined by Mayor Greg Ballard and the city's peace coalition, which includes ministers from all over Indianapolis.

The message of the news conference was simple: "No." Officials said they will not tolerate on people who prey on the most vulnerable. They also said if the suspects do not turn themselves in, the police would hunt them down.

Six middle and high school students were assaulted at four different school bus stops Thursday morning. An 18-year-old needed nine stitches after he was pistol-whipped.

Police believe the same people were involved in all of the robberies, during which one of them threatened to shoot the students if they didn't hand over their valuables. One teenage girl said her assailant looked in her bag and complained, 'You ain't got nothing,' when he realized she wasn't carrying anything of value to him. The thieves stole CD and MP3 players as well as lunch money and other belongings.

Parents say they're not taking any chances. They were out in full force at bus stops, standing with their children or waiting in cars for buses to arrive.

"My daughter's only in the first grade and I don't trust nobody out here," said one mother. "We stay on the corner, but I'm here in the mornings when she gets on the bus and I'm here in the evenings when she gets off the bus."

"I'm not gonna have my kids be a statistic to some thug punks wanting to steal kids' money to support their drug habits. That's what it is. It's all about the drugs in this area," said a father.

"It's sad. That's why I'm here every morning watching the children at the bus stop, just in case whatever may happen," said another mom.

Police could be seen patrolling near bus stops early Friday. They have two persons of interest in the case: Erik Edwards and his wife Tamara Edwards. She also goes by the name Tamara Bates. Police believe she may have been driving the getaway car, a silver 1999 Dodge Intrepid.

Call 262-TIPS with information on this case.