A rash of holdups at apartment complexes continued on a violent course Tuesday, with a robber stabbing and seriously injuring a woman with a large kitchen knife, Fort Wayne police said.
Two robberies targeting people at apartments were reported Tuesday, bringing the total in the string to 12. Patterns seen in the robberies, which began Jan. 7, suggest they are related, but investigators have not found a definitive link between them, said officer Raquel Foster, a police spokeswoman.
Victims have usually been alone at night in parking lots or near building entrances. In two cases, robbers have tied up victims and beaten them, police said.
We do believe our perpetrators are lying in wait, Foster said. They are waiting for the ideal circumstances and the ideal victim.
Based on descriptions of the robbers and other details, police do not believe the same one or two people are committing all the robberies.
We may have a copycat, she said.
The first robbery Tuesday was reported at 12:06 a.m. at Canterbury Green Apartments, near St. Joe and St. Joe Center roads.
A man tried to snatch a woman’s purse in a parking lot, but the purse strap was around her neck and he did not get it, Foster said.
She was screaming, and he slammed her up against a tree, Foster said.
The man fled without the purse, and the woman was taken to a hospital to be treated.
The second robbery Tuesday was reported at 10:12 a.m. at Gardenview Apartments, near North Clinton Street and St. Joe Center Road. It was the first time a robbery in the string was committed during the day.
A man, not displaying a weapon, approached a woman in an apartment building and demanded money. There was a language barrier between the victim, a Spanish speaker, and the man, Foster said.
That frustrated him, and he struck her about the head and face several times, she said.
As the woman was trying to shut the door of her apartment, the man blocked it from closing, forced his way inside and pushed her against the wall as he yelled at her. Aware of the rash of robberies, the woman had a large kitchen knife on hand for protection. But the man picked up the knife and stabbed her in the abdomen, Foster said.
During the attack, the woman hit the panic alarm on her vehicle, and the man fled without taking anything. Police and medics were sent to the complex, and the woman was taken to a hospital where she was listed in serious condition, Foster said.
The string of 12 robberies includes three at Canterbury Green Apartments and three at Gardenview. Other apartment complexes have also seen multiple robberies.
Our officers have increased their patrolling in these complexes that have been targeted more than once, Foster said.