News and Press Releases

Bank Robber Sentenced to 18 Years in Prison

May 20, 2004

Reno, Nev. -  A man who pleaded guilty to committing two bank robberies in Reno in October and November 2003, was sentenced today by U.S. District Judge Larry R. Hicks to 220 months in prison and ordered to pay $12,455 in restitution, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

STEVEN GARY SMITTLE, age 51, of Reno, pleaded guilty on January 30, 2004, to one count of Bank Robbery and one count of Armed Bank Robbery. According to the court records, on October 2, 2003, SMITTLE robbed the U.S. Bank branch at 5150 Mae Anne Road by making verbal threats and demands for money against two tellers. The tellers gave SMITTLE over $8,000 in cash, and SMITTLE drove away in a small, silver-colored sports utility vehicle.

On November 14, 2003, two tellers at the same bank were robbed, but this time, SMITTLE displayed what appeared to be the butt of a handgun and yelled at them to turn over their money. The tellers gave SMITTLE approximately $7,400 in cash, including bait bills containing pre-recorded serial numbers. A witness observed SMITTLE drive away from the bank in a red Ford Taurus vehicle with no license plates.

The subsequent investigation revealed that STEVEN SMITTLE had rented the silver-colored sports utility vehicle at approximately the time of the first robbery, and then returned it and rented a red Taurus. Following the second bank robbery, SMITTLE paid for the rental of the Taurus partly in cash, which included some of the bait bills taken in the second robbery.

SMITTLE was arrested on November 21, 2003, by Special Agents with the FBI and Detectives with the Reno Police Department, and indicted by the Federal Grand Jury on December 3, 2003. He will also be placed on five years of supervised release following his release from prison.

The case was investigated by Special Agents with the FBI and Detectives with the Reno Police Department, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ronald C. Rachow.

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