Man charged with robbing 10 stores in California, Arizona

August 22, 2022 GMT

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A Phoenix man was charged Monday with robbing 10 stores in Southern California and Arizona before accidentally shooting himself after a bullet-punctuated high-speed chase, federal prosecutors said.

Samuel Sven Smith, 26, was charged with interference with commerce by robbery, brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence and assault on a federal officer, authorities said.

He remained hospitalized and it wasn’t immediately clear whether he had an attorney to speak on his behalf.

Smith used a handgun to rob 10 stores, including nine PetSmarts, over three weeks beginning on July 31, according to an affidavit filed with the federal criminal complaint, the U.S. attorney’s office said in a statement.

Most of the stores were Los Angeles, Orange and San Bernardino counties but one was in Phoenix, and Smith stole about $7,000, prosecutors said.

After robbing a PetSmart store in Rancho Cucamonga on Aug. 20, Smith noticed law enforcement approaching, shot at and hit an unmarked U.S. Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives car, then began a 20-minute chase through several cities during which he fired at law enforcement pursuers, prosecutors alleged.

The chase ended with a pursuer ramming into Smith’s vehicle, causing him to accidentally shoot himself in the chin, prosecutors said.

He could face up to 20 years in prison on some charges if convicted.