Suspect in drug store robberies arrested

A man suspected of various drug store robberies, including at least one in Shelby County, was arrested last weekend by the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

James Matthew Hobby, 30, called deputies to his residence in Clay, claiming an armed intruder shot him.

According to a department press release, while deputies were processing the crime scene, they found items showing evidence of a hidden drug lab in the house. Upon investigation, the lab was used to manufacture ecstasy.

The deputies also found pharmacy pill bottles, which were identified as stolen from local pharmacies.

Hobby, who has a criminal history including theft and drug charges, was arrested Jan. 14 in the hospital. After he recovers from his injuries, he will be moved to the Jefferson County Jail.

Jefferson County Chief Deputy Randy Christian said in an e-mail the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Department has charged Hobby in a drug store robbery case. The Fultondale Police Department has also charged Hobby in another drug store robbery.

Christian also said a Rite Aid drug store on Valleydale Road was robbed twice, and he believes Hobby is a suspect in those robberies.

Hobby is a suspect in as many as five drug store robberies in various jurisdictions.