Police: Man charged in theft

A man police said jumped over the counter of a Center Grove area gas station to steal cash is a suspect in at least seven other robberies around central Indiana.

Thomas W. Kaufman, 26, of Avon, was charged with one count of robbery in Johnson County but is currently being held at the Marion County jail on multiple counts of theft.

Investigators said he is a suspect in at least seven other robberies in Mooresville, Marion County and Hendricks County, according to court paperwork.

On Aug. 26, sheriff’s deputies were called to a gas station at Smith Valley Road and State Road 37 on a robbery report. The clerk told police a man paid for an item, and while the cash register was open, dove across the counter and grabbed cash out of the drawer and then ran out of the store, according to the police report.

Deputies tried to search for the man using a police dog, but were unable to find him, the report said.

The Johnson County Sheriff’s Office investigator was contacted by Mooresville police, who said a gas station there had also just been robbed, and they suspected it could be by the same person, the report said.

The two investigators exchanged information and surveillance photos, and found the same man committed both robberies. The Mooresville detective was working with police in Indianapolis, who said they believed the suspect was involved in at least seven other robberies, the report said.

That suspect was identified as Kaufman.

When investigators spoke with Kaufman at the Marion County jail, he told them he had taken $20 from the register for his heroin addiction, and asked them to tell the clerk he was sorry if he hurt her, the report said.

A warrant has been issued for Kaufman’s arrest in Johnson County, but he is being held in Marion County, Sheriff Doug Cox said.

He is being held at the Marion County jail on seven counts of theft and one count of corrupt business influence, according to the inmate record system.

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Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at agoeller@dailyjournal.net or 317-736-2718.