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Wounded Man Suspected in Series of Robberies

Updated: Friday, January 18 2013, 08:11 PM EST
COLUMBUS -- Police say a robbery that resulted in the shooting of a suspect may have been one in a series of crimes.

James Thompson is accused of pulling a gun on a Kelby Smith on January 7 as Smith removed his two-year-old from a car seat.

As he walked away with stolen money, investigators say Thompson displayed his gun a second time, and was then shot in the back by Smith.

Police say that shooting may have stopped a string of crimes perpetrated by Thompson, who is suspected of robbing a victim in another driveway on Sinclair Road earlier that day.

Thompson, 43, is also suspected in the December 26 theft of a Chevy Lumina in North Columbus.

"I looked up because my headlights had flashed up on my porch," victim Debra Binkley said. "My daughter went out to clean off the snow and ice and start it up for me."

Police found Binkley's car abandoned in a hotel parking lot two days after it was taken. A fingerprint matching Thompson's was found on the vehicle's rear-view mirror.

"While it had been gone, they used it to rob three different places," Binkley said after talking to detectives.

During questioning Thursday, police say Thompson told them he was shot by Smith while he was "reminding" the victim of a drug debt. Thompson then refused to answer any additional questions.

Smith was not available for comment, but his brother told ABC 6/FOX 28 that Thompson's version of events is fiction, and the suspect also pointed his gun at him during the robbery.

Thompson agreed to be interviewed by ABC 6/FOX 28 while in jail, but officials would not allow the interview since Thompson has not yet been assigned a public defender.

Smith has a valid permit to carry a concealed weapon; he is not facing any charges.

"You can't take from somebody and not expect something to come back to you," Binkley said. "Him getting shot, that was his karma."


Reporter: Lisa Rantala
Web Producer: Ken HinesWounded Man Suspected in Series of Robberies

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