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Press Release

Repeat Bank Robber Sentenced to Twelve and a Half Years in Federal Prison After Robbing Four More Banks in Two-Weeks While on Parole

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Southern District of Indiana

INDIANAPOLIS- 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 October 4 through October 18, 2021, Smith robbed four different federally insured banks, stealing nearly $25,000.

On October 4, 2021, Smith entered the Chase Bank branch near North Keystone Avenue. Once inside, Smith approached a 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 his two-week bank robbery spree, Smith stole nearly $25,000:




October 4, 2021

Chase Bank, Indianapolis, IN


October 6, 2021

Tri County Bank & Trust, Bainbridge, IN


October 11, 2021

Chase Bank, Lawrence, IN


October 18, 2021

BMO Harris, Indianapolis, IN


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

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 twenty-two 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 from the Indiana Department of Corrections to parole. Smith began his latest robbery spree just eight weeks later. The charges related to the 2018 Hamilton bank County robbery were still pending when he 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.”

“The reign of terror of the defendant is over thanks to the outstanding investigative work and collaboration of the FBI and our law enforcement partners,” said Herbert J. Stapleton, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Indianapolis Field Office. “This sentence clearly demonstrates the FBI’s commitment to ensuring those who threaten bank employees and steal the peace of mind of residents of our community will pay the price.”

“This investigation resulting in US Federal Court conviction represents yet another exemplary collaboration between Federal, State, and Local law enforcement agencies, focusing our considerable resources on holding this offender accountable for his criminal actions,” said Lawrence Police Department Deputy Chief Gary Woodruff. “Thanks to the efforts of each agency who participated, and to the US Attorney’s Office for focusing on those who commit dangerous crimes, these efforts result in safer communities.”

The FBI, IMPD, Putnam County Sheriff’s Department, and Lawrence Police Department investigated this case. The sentence was imposed by U.S. District Court Judge James R. Sweeney. Judge Sweeney also ordered that Smith be supervised by the U.S. Probation Office for 3 years following his release from federal prison.

U.S. Attorney Myers thanked Assistant U.S. Attorney Jayson W. McGrath, who prosecuted this case.


Updated November 7, 2023

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