The $5K Bandit was sentenced today to 13 years in prison for multiple Orange County bank robberies.
Keith Alonzo Smith Sr., 42, of Long Beach, accepted a plea deal Jan. 10 from an Orange County Superior Court judge, who set aside a prior strike from 1991 at sentencing, Senior Deputy District Attorney Lynda Fernandez said.
Factoring in the prior strike, Smith could have faced up to 43 years in prison, Fernandez said.
Smith was also ordered to pay $16,068 in restitution, Fernandez said.
Smith was arrested in April following a holdup of a U.S. Bank branch at 10942 Pine St., Los Alamitos police Capt. Bruce McAlpine said.
It was the fourth time the knife-wielding suspect robbed the bank in the same way since June 2011, McAlpine said.
A suspect description was issued and a Los Alamitos police officer monitoring traffic along Katella Avenue between Los Alamitos Boulevard and the San Gabriel River (605) Freeway saw someone matching the description speeding on Katella Avenue in a gray 2009 Dodge Charger and gave chase, McAlpine said.
The suspect lost control of the vehicle on an on-ramp to the northbound 605 and crashed into an embankment, McAlpine said.
The suspect ran away, but the officer caught him and the two struggled until backup officers subdued the suspect with a Taser gun, McAlpine said.
The suspect and officer suffered minor injuries but did not need to go to a hospital, McAlpine said.
Investigators suspected Smith robbed the same bank branch on June 21, 2011, June 30, 2012, and Sept. 11, 2012, McAlpine said. He was dubbed the $5K bandit because he made off with about $5,000 in each heist, McAlpine said.
Smith pleaded guilty to eight counts of second-degree robbery, five counts of false imprisonment effected by violence, menace, fraud or deceit, four counts of second-degree burglary, all felonies, and a misdemeanor count of resisting arrest, according to court records.
Smith also admitted multiple sentencing enhancement allegations for using a deadly weapon.
--City News Service