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Repeat bank robber sentenced to 12 years after robbing banks while on parole

Bank robber sentenced for stealing nearly $25,000

INDIANAPOLIS (WISH) — Jaquan Lavon Smith, 31, of Indianapolis, has been sentenced to 151 months in federal prison after pleading guilty to four counts of bank robbery.

According to court documents, between Oct. 4 – Oct. 18, 2021, Smith robbed four different federally insured banks, stealing nearly $25,000.

On Oct. 4, 2021, Smith entered the Chase Bank near North Keystone Avenue. Once inside, Smith approached a bank teller and passed a robbery note that stated, “This is a robbery, be quick about it.” The teller gathered $4,058 and passed it to Smith. Over the next two weeks, Smith robbed three more banks in a similar manner, using threatening notes that demanded $10,000 and instructed the victims not to use security measures. During the two-week bank robbery spree, Smith stole nearly $25,000:

  • October 4, 2021: Chase Bank, Indianapolis – $4,058 stolen
  • October 6, 2021: Tri County Bank & Trust, Bainbridge – $10,000 stolen
  • October 11, 2021: Chase Bank, Lawrence – $3,336 stolen
  • October 18, 2021: BMO Harris, Indianapolis – $7,469 stolen

FBI agents arrested Smith after the BMO Harris robbery on October 18, 2021, as he was making his getaway. On Smith’s person, FBI agents located over $7,000 in cash, and the BMO Harris robbery note.

According to court documents, Smith has a significant history of robbing banks. In June and July 2018, Smith robbed six banks in Indianapolis, and one in Hamilton County, over 22 days. The demand notes Smith used in the six 2018 bank robberies were nearly identical to the ones he used to rob four banks in 2021. Smith was convicted of the five Indianapolis robberies and sentenced to two years in prison.

On July 30, 2021, he was released on parole from the Indiana Department of Corrections. Smith began his latest robbery spree just eight weeks earlier. The charges related to the 2018 Hamilton County bank robbery was still pending when Smith robbed four banks in October 2021.

“Again and again, this career criminal chose to terrorize innocent bank employees in his pursuit of what he believed would be easy cash,” Zachary A. Myers, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Indiana. “He returned to robbing banks soon after getting out on parole, undeterred by his prior prison sentence. Thanks to the hard work of the FBI, IMPD, Lawrence Police Department, the Putnam County Sheriff’s Office, and our federal prosecutor, the public will be protected for many years as he serves a very serious federal prison sentence.”

U.S. District Court Judge James R. Sweeney ordered that Smith be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for three years following his release from federal prison.

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