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Cumberland merchants, police come together to curb uptick in armed robberies

CUMBERLAND, Ind. (WISH) — This town in Marion and Hancock counties has seen a dramatic uptick in armed robberies targeting businesses.

So far this year, there have been 20, compared to 11 all of last year. Crime typically goes up during the holiday season, police said, and that’s why they are concerned. 

Nothing but the sound of a sewing machine is what you hear in Autumn Interiors. Quiet is how owner Nancy Schantz likes it to focus on work. 

“We do bedding. We do outdoor cushions. We do everything you see in the house,” Schantz said.

But outside the walls of her building, there has been a lot of noise lately with nearly twice as many robberies compared to last year. 

“I’m concerned about the whole neighborhood because I live here. I have invested in properties here,” Schantz said. 

That’s why Schantz and several other businesses met at the Cumberland Police Department on Thursday morning. 

Cumberland Police Commander Christopher Etherton said, “That’s why we’re bringing the people in, because of the increase in crime. We want them to be safe. One, if they become a victim of a crime, but also to get information that we can utilize as well.” 

The training included how to prevent robberies, what to do in the event of a robbery, and what to do after a robbery. Ten businesses participated and were given a seal of completion to put in their business windows. 

“We’re holding this to hopefully prevent any other robberies from happening, one, and, two, if we do have them, help us apprehend the individuals quicker,” Etherton said.

Etherton’s best piece of advice is simple. If you see something suspicious, call police. 

Cumberland Police Department crime information. (WISH Photo/Elizabeth Choi)

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