INDIANAPOLIS — A convicted armed robber is behind bars after police claim he robbed a half dozen businesses around Indianapolis while on work release.

IMPD robbery detectives believe 53-year-old Damon Smithson robbed all six businesses over a two-month span before he was arrested last week.

Booking photo of Damon Smithson

Based on their investigation, IMPD said Smithson is a suspect in the following robberies:

  • 10/19/2022: Circle K – 9599 N. Meridian St
  • 10/24/2022: Speedway – 5990 E. 71st St
  • 11/17/2022: Speedway – 6198 Allisonville Rd
  • 11/28/2022: Shell – 5020 E 62nd St
  • 12/06/2022: CVS – 2330 E 46th St
  • 12/08/2022: Family Dollar – 5135 N Keystone Ave

The crimes took place just three months after the suspect was put on work release following a previous conviction for armed robbery.

After his arrest, police found a black ski mask and a handgun that allegedly connected Smithson to the series of crimes.

“For better or worse a lot of these a lot of these serial robbery suspects do have a pattern and engage in similar behaviors,” said IMPD Lt. Shane Foley.

Lt. Shane Foley said IMPD continues to crack down on serial robbers, using covert teams to track trends and make arrests.

“Our commitment and dedication continues to be focusing on violent crimes, such as armed robberies,” said Foley.

Despite that hard work, police arrested Smithson in 2020 after the same suspect robbed 10 other businesses in two months.

As part of a plea agreement and sentencing order, Judge Mark Stoner sentenced Smithson to nine years in the Department of Corrections, but just nine months later Smithson’s sentence was amended and he was granted work release with Community Corrections in July.

Court records show Smithson violated his court-ordered probation just days before the recent crime spree.

That’s why some community leaders feel the court system put the public in danger.

“This is a concern that the courts are not holding people accountable who keep committing the same kinds of crimes,” said Reverend Charles Harrison with the Ten Point Coalition.

“Regardless of this guy’s history and he was out on a previous case, the detectives continue to work hard and do their job to keep the community safe,” said Foley.

A spokesperson with prosecutor Ryan Mears’ office sent the following statement regarding the case:

“These questions would be more appropriate for the judge who presided over the case. The defendant pleaded guilty to the lead count and was sentenced to 14 years with nine executed in the doc. Ultimately, the court modified this individual’s sentence.”

The suspect is now being held without bond for the previous armed robbery conviction while formal charges are pending in the current case.

Smithson has been convicted of at least five different robberies offenses since 1999.