INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Underage drinking, drugs, and violence are all linked to house parties at short term rental properties in Indianapolis.
I-team 8 exposed the troubling trend last month. Now, IMPD needs your help to put a stop to them.
“In the last month, we’ve seen a 90 percent increase compared to last year this time for incidents at house parties,” said IMPD Cpt. Christopher Boomershine.
“That were directly linked to short term rentals,” asked I-Team 8 reporter Kody Fisher.
“Correct,” said Boomershine.
IMPD says they’re seeing parties of up to 100 people. They don’t know exactly how many are happening, because they only get called to ones where violence happens.
That violence often includes gunfire.
Like in March when a teenage girl was shot in the face after leaving a party hosted at a short term rental.
House parties with underage drinking is not a new phenomenon, but IMPD said what it’s seeing is.
“How’s it different than a typical high school party,” asked Fisher.
“Its different because what you’ve described is ‘hey, I’m going to invite some of my friends over to hangout and get into the parents liquor cabinet.’ It’s different because this is being advertised on social media. It’s open to the public. In some instances they’re charging admission. This is a business to them. So, when you open the door to everyone in the city you’re going to get some bad actors,” said Boomershine.
IMPD shared two fliers with I-Team 8. Both are being circulated on social media for parties happening this weekend.
One advertises that alcohol will be provided. The other advertises that a drug dealer will be available for people to buy drugs.
Jed Fuller lives on Union Street on the south side of Indianapolis. He told I-team 8 several homes on the street are being used for short term rentals and that parties have been a pretty consistent problem.
“Our awareness rises and we just pay more attention. I’m thankful we haven’t had the shootings. I’ve been threatened. Somebody asked me to get out of the car because I asked them to move their car off our personal property and I was like, ‘no, I’m not getting out of the car’ and I asked my wife to call 911. It de-escalated. Thankfully, there were other people apart of the party that helped de-escalate and pulled their friend back,” said Fuller.
IMPD says they need help to prevent people from being put in situations like that in areas where they live.
Police said people renting out their homes short term should not rent to people who are looking for one night rentals even though they live in Indianapolis.
Police also suggest checking in on the rental during the night to make sure huge parties are not going on.
IMPD said they also need help from the public. If you see a flier circulating on social media, like the ones shared in this story, call police so they can prevent violence from happening.
“We’re not here to be the party police. We’re here to prevent it from turning into a situation where there’s gun violence,” said Boomershine.