Recent Armed Robbery Victim Speaks Out

By Maureen Mespell
By John W. Davis

February 10, 2011 Updated Oct 24, 2013 at 7:57 PM EDT

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (Indiana’s NewsCenter) – After several robberies, one as recent as Monday night, the Woodbridge Apartment complex held a crime prevention meeting Thursday night.

Nearly 100 residents attended the crime prevention meeting at the Woodbridge Apartments leasing office.

"It's just not a good feeling," said Woodbridge Apartment Resident Elizabeth Embler.

The complex is one of several that has been plagued with a series of armed robberies in the last two months and neighbors are concerned for their safety.

Across Fort Wayne. at least nine victims, five males and four females have been robbed since December 22, 2010.

The robberies typically occur in the parking lots and the perpetrator will use dumpsters and shrubbery to hide behind.

All of the robberies have occurred after sunset.

Meanwhile, dozens of the residents rallied around the idea of a "common sense approach" when it comes to crime prevention.

Fort Wayne Police Officer Michael Joyner said that means knowing your neighbors, and knowing when something or something is out of the ordinary near your apartment building.

Joyner also revealed he lived in the Woodbridge Apartments for a year, so this investigation has become personal for him.

The four armed robberies at the Woodbridge Apartments took place on December 18, January 1, January 19, and most recently on February 7.

Indiana's NewsCenter was able to briefly speak with February 7 victim.

He was pistol whipped in the face, still bearing cuts and stitches from the incident.

"(I'm) A little paranoid to be honest. Not afraid but just I don't want it to happen again," said the February 7, 2011 victim who wanted to remain anonymous.

"I was coming home from work and I had some groceries and stuff on me, then he just came up to me... He's gonna do it again so until he gets caught it's gonna keep happening. So I guess just be proactive and don't be afraid of him," continued the most recent Woodbridge Apartment armed robbery victim.

"My daughter is scared all the time. She can't sleep at night. She's asking about the robber and it's just not somewhere I wanna live where I don't feel safe," continued Embler who is a single mother, raising a four-year-old daughter.

Investigators said they are searching for an African-American male in his 20's.

Victims recall the serial armed robbery has a slim build and wears a knit cap and a black, possibly military-style coat.

Police have the following advice for community members:

-If you see a parked car that you don't recognize and it's running, with the headlights off, call 911.

If you have a tip that is not as urgent, you're asked to still call police on their non-emergency line at (260) 427-1222.

Fort Wayne Police credit the Woodbridge Apartments for holding Thursday night's meeting.

Officers also shared the apartment complex is working with police in their investigation.

For more crime prevention tips, visit the related content section of this story.

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