Teens accused of robbing Village Pantry in McCordsville

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HANCOCK COUNTY — Four teenagers have been accused of robbing a convenience store in McCordsville early Sunday morning, and police are investigating them in connection with two other similar weekend robberies in nearby Cumberland and Lawrence, a court report said.

Kevin Sargent, 18, Indianapolis; and three teenage boys, one 16 years old and two 15 years old, were taken into custody early Sunday morning and charged with the armed robbery of the Village Pantry, 5964 West Broadway, McCordsville, around 1:20 a.m. Sunday.

Gary Woodruff, deputy chief for the Lawrence Police Department, said the teens are also suspects in the robbery of the Thorntons convenience store at 10901 Pendleton Pike around 2:45 a.m. Sunday.

Cumberland police are investigating a third robbery that took place about 4 a.m. Sunday at the Speedway store at 11531 E. Washington Street, Cumberland, In that robbery, four men entered the store wearing hoodies and bandannas over their faces.

McCordsville police arrived at the Village Pantry within minutes, said Paul Casey, McCordsville’s interim police police chief. However, the suspects were gone by the time law enforcement arrived.

Around 5:45 a.m., McCordsville officials were notified that a Cumberland police officer had found a group of men matching the description of the suspects from the McCordsville robbery when he happened upon their car.

“At that point, once the confirmation was given, everyone was taken into custody and the car was towed,” Casey said.

Officers found evidence, including handguns, connecting the suspects to the robberies in McCordsville, Lawrence and Cumberland, court documents show.

The four suspects were taken to the Lawrence Police Department for interviews in connection with the robbery there. However, charges in that case have yet to be filed as detectives continue to work the case, Woodruff said.

Officials from the Cumberland Police Department also have not yet sought charges in their case, but plan to do so within the next week, said Suzanne Woodland, Cumberland interim chief of police.

“We’re just getting our ducks in a row right now,” she said.

Cumberland officials are working with the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department because they think the teens might be responsible for even more robberies.

In the meantime, the Hancock County prosecutors office is moving forward with the McCordsville case. They’ve already filed charges against the four teens, who all made their first court appearance Wednesday.

Sargent, the eldest in the group, is suspected of being the getaway driver. He’s been charged with one Level 3 felony charge of armed robbery — taking property by force; a Level 6 felony charge of criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon; and a Class A misdemeanor charge of carrying a handgun without a license.

Judge Scott Sirk set a cash bond of $50,000 for Sargent and the 16-year-old, who was also processed through adult court, said Chief Deputy Prosecutor Maria Castetter.

The three juveniles are also each facing Level 3 felony charges of armed robbery. The 16-year-old has also been charged with two Level 6 felony counts, including criminal recklessness committed with a deadly weapon and pointing a firearm at another. He’s also facing a Class A misdemeanor for carrying a handgun without a license.

The other juveniles are also faces charges of pointing a firearm, possession of a handgun without a license and criminal recklessness.

Castetter said the prosecutor’s office is filing to have them appear in adult court as well.

Sargent remains in the Hancock County Jail. He is scheduled to have a pretrial conference in July prior to a trial set for October.

For now, all three juveniles are being held in the Delaware County Juvenile detention Center.

Law enforcement officials from McCordsville, Lawrence and Cumberland said a cross departmental cooperation between police officers in Marion and Hancock Counties played a huge role in apprehending the suspects.