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Man admits to scamming shoppers by pretending to have a mental disability

By: Brittany Pelletz Email
By: Brittany Pelletz Email
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"Why be ashamed for getting something to eat," says Gary Thompson.

Gary Thompson is thirty years old. He travels around Lexington in his wheelchair asking for money from shoppers. One of the places he often visits is at the Zandale Center off of Nicholasville Road.

"He's in a wheelchair and he seems kind of off. He usually asks for money, but he is really friendly," says Billy Wethington, an employee at a store in the Zandale Center.

"A couple times I get in trouble," says Thompson.

Lexington police have arrested Thompson multiple times. They have charged him with begging, trespassing, and theft by deception.

"I had a dollar I was doing to give to him, but he was already down there with police," adds Wethington.

He claims to have a mental disability. Lexington Police say that Thompson doesn't have one.

"Ahh, I got duped," Wethington says.

Thompson also tried his scam at the shops in Hamburg. It's all an act that he says he is proud of.

"I'm really good at it, really good. I clear about $100,000 a year doing this," says Thompson.

Thompson has no shame for how he makes his living.

When asked if he was having fun playing this game, Thompson says, "Yeah, it's fun to make me money."

Thompson says he is going to keep scamming people even though he has already been to jail and after his act is exposed, "I gotta go ya'll to make some money."

Thompson says if his luck runs out in Lexington, he will be moving on to another city.

Thompson does have limited mobility and does need a wheelchair to get around easier.

Thompson claims he used to be a millionaire after lawsuit settlement following an accident involving a Honda motorcycle.

He says the money from the settlement ran out.


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