In July 2009 two men robbed the Sprint PCS store on Sparkleberry Lane in Columbia, Wisconsin. They were armed with guns and stole purses and wallets from the employees, as well as money from the store’s cash-boxes.
Thomas James, one of the participants, had painted his face with spray-paint in order to disguise his identity during the robbery. However, after the robbery he started having problems breathing and later died, most probably from intoxication. The Richland County deputies reported that toxicity tests were ran on James immediately in order to learn the cause of his death.
Witnesses of the crime were able to identify the other man. Michael Thomas, the second participant in the robbery, was arrested two weeks later and charged with armed robbery. He didn’t use spray-paint for disguise which supposedly saved his life but, however, he had to face the authorities.