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Indianapolis serial robber gets 9 years for attempting to rob PetSmart

Indianapolis serial robber gets 9 years for attempting to rob PetSmart

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — An Indianapolis serial robber was sentenced to almost a decade in federal prison for attempted robbery at a business on the city’s east side in 2022.

James Bennett, 44, was sentenced to nine years after pleading guilty to attempted commercial robbery.

According to court documents, on Nov. 4, 2022, Bennett went into a PetSmart store, pointed what appeared to be a firearm at the cashier’s head, and hit her with it as he demanded she give him money. The cashier was unable to open the cash register.

Bennett then attempted to open the cash register himself by banging on it with his firearm but was unsuccessful.

The entire attempted robbery was captured on video.

Police say before the incident, Bennett was convicted of five separate robberies, a burglary, and one prior conviction for sexual intercourse with a minor. He was sentenced to prison in 2007 and released on July 30, 2022, just three months before he attempted to rob PetSmart.

A judge ordered Bennett to serve three years of probation following his release.

“This defendant assaulted and terrorized an innocent woman just doing her job,” said Zachary A. Myers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “The sentence imposed here demonstrates that robbery is not a quick way to make some money—it’s a quick way to end up in prison. Our office, the FBI, and IMPD are committed to protecting the public by taking repeat, violent criminals off our streets.”

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