INDIANAPOLIS – The suspect in a series of robberies and attempted robberies around Indianapolis was a familiar face to federal prosecutors.
Marvin Smith, 37, was on supervised release after being previously arrested and prosecuted in 2016 for a pair of pharmacy robberies. He got out of prison in January 2021 and stayed out of trouble for about a year and three months.
Smith’s multi-day crime spree started on April 2, 2022, when he attempted to rob a CVS on East Washington Street around 10 a.m. He approached an employee and handed over a note demanding Oxycodone. The employee entered a code into the locked safe and told Smith he’d have to wait for it to open because it was on a timer.
Smith didn’t stick around.
Around 12:05 p.m. on the same day, he went to a Walgreens on East Epler Avenue, where he again approached an employee, handed over a note demanding Oxycodone and told her to “hurry up.” He ran into the same issue: the safe was on a timer and wouldn’t open immediately. He left emptyhanded and was seen in a black Buick LaCrosse sedan with visible damage to the body. A witness was able to provide a partial license plate number.
Smith also robbed a bank that day, prosecutors said. He entered the PNC on South East Street around 1:30 p.m., handed over a plastic grocery bag and told the teller to “hurry up” and fill it. The teller complied; Smith left with more than $500.
On April 4, an IMPD officer spotted a black car matching the description of the one spotted at Walgreens at a hotel in Beech Grove. The license plate traced back to Smith, police said.
A license plate camera had previously spotted his Buick LaCrosse at State Road 135 and Smith Valley Road in Johnson County, according to court documents.
On April 5, Smith went to the Fifth Third Bank on East Southport Road. He walked in and threw a robbery note over the counter demanding $10,000.
“Put 10k in the bag,” the note said, according to court documents. “No dye packs. No GPS. Hurry the [expletive] up.” He threw a plastic bag over the counter; the teller handed over the cash.
Smith spent about two minutes in the bank, with surveillance footage showing he entered at 1 p.m. and left at 1:02 p.m. carrying a plastic bag filled with money.
Smith ran out of the bank and got into his car as police followed him from Gray Road to Edgewood Avenue and Emerson Avenue. When he turned onto Emerson, IMPD SWAT “initiated a felony car stop” and disabled his vehicle. Smith got out and ran a short distance before giving himself up.
Investigators found $10,000 in cash “banded and stacked” sitting in plain view on the front passenger floorboard of Smith’s car. Each stack, dated April 5, 2022, had a Fifth Third Bank stamp. The bank reported a loss of $10,000.
Smith had been monitoring dispatch radio traffic, police said, playing a scanner app through his phone and listening via his car stereo. During an interview with IMPD, he admitted he’d robbed the bank.
Smith pleaded guilty to two counts of attempted interference with commerce by robbery and two counts of bank robbery. His attorney asked for a lighter sentence of 92 months, saying Smith struggled with substance abuse and had “overextended himself” on a car loan. He’d also had trouble keeping employed, often losing jobs because of his past criminal record.
Prosecutors asked for 115 months (about 9.5 years).
“It is completely unacceptable that Smith committed two attempted robberies and two bank robberies while on supervised release for robbery,” prosecutors wrote in their sentencing memorandum.
The judge agreed, sentencing Smith to the 115 months. Upon his release, he’ll be on supervised probation for three years.