Phoenix man sentenced to 26 years in prison for robbery spree

Jan 24, 2024, 8:00 AM

Man puts gun on table....

Samuel Smith was sentenced to 26 years in prison for a string of armed robberies in Arizona and California in 2022. (Pexels Photo)

(Pexels Photo)

PHOENIX — A Phoenix man was sentenced on Monday to 26 years in prison for a string of armed robberies he committed in Arizona and California in 2022, authorities said.

Samuel Sven Smith, 28, was sentenced to 312 months in prison, coupled with a restitution order of $8,873, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said.

He was arrested after a high-speed chase in August 2022 and pleaded guilty in May 2023 to two counts of interference with commerce by robbery and two counts of brandishing and discharging a firearm during a crime of violence.

Armed robber’s 3-week reign of terror in Arizona and California

Prosecutors said from July 31, 2022, until Aug. 20, 2022, Smith committed nine armed robberies in Maricopa, Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties, specifically at one Big Lots store and a handful of PetSmart stores.

“Smith showed complete disregard for the safety of others when he went on his crime spree, threatening store employees with firearms and then opening fire on federal agents,” U.S. Attorney Martin Estrada said in a press release.

“We cannot accept such blatant violence on our streets and my office is committed to doing all it can to protect the people of our district.”

Here’s how the armed Phoenix robber got caught

Authorities finally caught up with Smith on Aug. 20, 20022, as he exited a PetSmart in Rancho Cucamonga, California, with $400 he had just stolen. Smith then opened fire at them, prosecutors said.

Smith subsequently jumped into his vehicle and led federal officers on a high-speed chase that ended after law enforcement rammed into his vehicle.

When officers approached Smith’s car, they determined he sustained a gunshot wound underneath his chin. Smith told law enforcement who were giving him medical attention that when they rammed into his vehicle, he accidently shot himself, prosecutors said.

“This is the type of vicious career criminal that ATF’s task force in Orange County targets daily,” special agent in charge Christopher Bombardiere of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives Los Angeles Field Division said in the release.

“We work with our law enforcement partners to put these offenders in prison to stop their terrorizing of our communities.”

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

Suspect and patrol vehicle....

SuElen Rivera

Driver arrested after child, 2 men injured in crash involving Phoenix patrol vehicle

Anthony Knox, 22, was booked into jail on multiple charges, including one count of aggravated assault resulting in physical injury and unlawful flight from law enforcement.

54 minutes ago

Smoke rises from the smoldering Range Fire near Florence, Arizona....

Arizona’s Range Fire mostly contained after burning more than 1,000 acres over weekend

The Range Fire, a wildfire that burned through more than 1,000 acres in Arizona over the weekend, was mostly contained by Sunday night, authorities said.

3 hours ago

Scorpions and spiders a bigger threat to Arizonans as temps rise...

Serena O'Sullivan

Creepy-crawly alert: Valley poison control center warns about scorpion and spider season

The Banner Poison Control Center warned Arizonans to keep an eye out for scorpions and spiders as temperatures rise.

5 hours ago

Vasectomies now available at Planned Parenthood's Phoenix clinic...

Serena O'Sullivan

Planned Parenthood now offering vasectomy services in Phoenix

The demand for vasectomies spiked after the Arizona Supreme Court reinstated the 1864 abortion law earlier this month.

5 hours ago

File photo of workers in a copper mine. A mining exploration company could establish a copper mine ...

Audrey Jensen/Phoenix Business Journal

Copper mining company has eyes on massive Casa Grande site

Ivanhoe Electric Inc., a mining exploration company, could establish a copper mine at a massive site south of metro Phoenix.

6 hours ago

The two men killed in the crash were both from India and were both 19-years-old, according to Peori...

2 dead, 2 more hospitalized after crash in Peoria near Lake Pleasant

Two people were killed and two others were hospitalized in a head-on collision in Peoria, near Lake Pleasant, on Saturday night.

13 hours ago

Sponsored Articles


Condor Airlines

Condor Airlines can get you smoothly from Phoenix to Frankfurt on new A330-900neo airplane

Adventure Awaits! And there's no better way to experience the vacation of your dreams than traveling with Condor Airlines.


DISC Desert Institute for Spine Care

Sciatica pain is treatable but surgery may be required

Sciatica pain is one of the most common ailments a person can face, and if not taken seriously, it could become one of the most harmful.


Collins Comfort Masters

Avoid a potential emergency and get your home’s heating and furnace safety checked

With the weather getting colder throughout the Valley, the best time to make sure your heating is all up to date is now. 

Phoenix man sentenced to 26 years in prison for robbery spree