(Aurora, Ind.) – Although the accused perpetrators were caught within minutes, the armed robbery of the Tandy’s IGA in Aurora last January may have been a carefully planned heist.
Malachi Draper, 19, and his father, 43-year-old Ronald Draper, Jr., allegedly wore disguises and used a gun to rob the grocery store on Third Street. They tied up the employees working late that night and fled to their home where police caught them. The father and son have been in jail awaiting the conclusion of their court cases since.
The younger Draper was scheduled to be sentenced last Wednesday, June 27 after his defense attorney reached a plea agreement with prosecutors in Dearborn Superior Court I. However, some new evidence surfaced at that hearing – notes and drawings of how the robbery would work were found by Malachi’s grandmother in a pants pocket of his.
In the notes presumably written by Malchi Draper, he included a sketch of the IGA, they clothes he and his father would wear to conceal their identities, and some alarming contingencies.
“If anyone enters we hide in the backroom and threaten if the cashier makes any dumb moves or alarms the customer they will be shot,” the notes read.
The notes also included a pre-heist plan to dig a hole in the basement of their home to bury the stolen money in.
An alibi was also pre-planned.
“Before the heist we will be watching a movie with grandma. We will then tell her we are going out for a cigar. The goal is to only take 3-5 min during the heist so grandma doesn’t get suspicious. By the time we return upstairs grandma will be none the wiser,” Draper allegedly wrote.
There were also hints that the Drapers could have been planning future robberies. Under a note labeled “Experience,” Draper wrote that before any major heist “your going to want one or two small ones under your belt.”
The plan did lay out some risks and negatives associated with the robbery, such as the store’s location near the Aurora Police Department and a large storefront window allowing people to see what was happening inside.
The duo did plan to take one precaution to ensure they wouldn’t get into deeper trouble than just armed robbery.
“Our 505 will be unleaded at all times. We don’t want murder on top of armed robbery,” Draper wrote.
Because of the new evidence, prosecutors asked for the plea agreement to be revoked. Judge Jonathan Cleary promptly rejected the plea. Malachi Draper’s case is again scheduled to go to a jury trial July 23 unless a new plea agreement is made by Monday, July 2.
Ronald Draper, Jr. pleaded guilty in May. He is still scheduled for sentencing July 9.