Arizona man charged with 3-week crime spree across Southern California, Arizona
LOS ANGELES - An Arizona man was charged Monday in a nearly month-long crime spree that spanned two states and four Southern California counties.
Samuel Smith, 26, of Phoenix, was arrested over the weekend outside Rancho Cucamonga after a police chase that followed an alleged robbery at a PetSmart. He was charged Monday with 10 robberies across California and Arizona as well as assaulting federal officers.
Smith's alleged crime spree began back on July 31. He's accused of robbing stores at gunpoint — including a Big Lots in Riverside and PetSmart stores in Signal Hill, Orange, San Bernardino, Fontana, Pico Rivera, Redlands, Huntington Beach, Phoenix, and ultimately in Rancho Cucamonga — making off with more than $7,000 in total.
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According to federal authorities, Smith held up the Rancho Cucamonga PetSmart on Aug. 20. While he was robbing the store, officials say, he saw law enforcement approaching and fired at least two shots at agents of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives before driving away.
Agents chased after him, and during the pursuit, Smith is accused of firing even more shots at agents. The chase ended roughly 20 minutes later, with agents ramming their vehicle into Smith's. When ATF agents approached Smith's car, they found he'd been shot under the chin. Smith allegedly told officials that he accidentally shot himself when his car was rammed.
If convicted of all charges, Smith faces nearly 50 years in federal prison.