Franklin police are looking for the driver of a vehicle seen behind a shopping center when a woman was attacked and robbed.
Just before 9 a.m. Sunday, police were called to Small Town Pizza in Northwood Plaza off U.S. 31. An employee of the restaurant told police someone attacked her inside the restaurant and had stolen money from her purse. The woman was taken to Johnson Memorial Hospital, where she was treated and released.
Now, police want to talk to the driver of a Jeep Grand Cherokee that was nearby, or for anyone in the area who saw anything that morning to contact them.
Police don’t know how many people were involved in the attack or how they got inside the building, Franklin Police Deputy Chief Chris Tennell said.
The employee came in through the back door and left it unlocked, Tennell said. Several minutes after the employee arrived, the assault happened, Tennell said. The employee told police she didn’t see anyone or notice any cars when she arrived that morning.
Representatives with Small Town Pizza declined to comment.
When the employee called 911 that morning, she said she was walking to the dining area to begin prepping the buffet station when she was hit in the back, according to the 911 call.
The woman was then punched in the face. While she was lying on the floor, her purse was dumped out and cash was taken, according to the police report.
When the employee called 911, she was crying and had trouble composing herself.
“They punched me in the face and hurt me. I’m scared to move,” she told the 911 operator.
Police are not sure if more than one person was involved with the robbery. The employee told police that after she was struck, she heard voices talking inside the restaurant, the report said.
The woman was unable to see what the suspect or suspects looked like, Tennell said.
Police found the iPads used at each register had been punched or hit with an object, and the cash drawers were damaged. Police suspect the thief or thieves tried to pry open the cash registers but were unable to open them, Tennell said. Police took swabs for DNA from the counter near the registers and collected fingerprints, according to the report.
Police also got surveillance video from a nearby grocery store and watched footage of the back of the shopping center around the time of the crime. About 8:30 a.m., a grey Jeep Grand Cherokee is seen driving behind the shopping center.
About 20 minutes later a male is seen walking behind the shopping center, the report said.
“Vehicles drive back there all the time,” Tennell said. “This car happened to pass by in the time frame the crime took place. It may or may not have been related.”
Anyone with information is asked to call Franklin police at 317-346-1100.