In the span of about a month, a 24-year-old Jonesboro man committed a string of armed robberies, hitting six businesses in Clayton and Henry counties, according to authorities.
Anthony Paul Smith has been sentenced to 18 years in federal prison for his short, violent crime spree that started on Dec. 10, 2013 when he entered a Papa John’s restaurant in Jonesboro, held a gun to an employee and threatened to shoot her. He fled the restaurant with $1,500, authorities said.
According to U.S. Attorney John A. Horn, Smith’s crime spree continued:
— On Jan. 5, 2014, he held up a female employee at a Boost Mobile store in Jonesboro and forced her to open a cash register. He got away with $2,000. She recognized Smith as a former customer of the store.
— On Jan. 7, Smith robbed a Metro PCS store in Stockbridge. An employee told investigators Smith had come into the store a few minutes before the robbery to inquire about an iPhone. Smith made off with $6,785, according to authorities.
— On. Jan.8, Smith robbed a Forest Park Army and Navy store and stole a Ruger pistol. Surveillance video captured Smith during the burglary.
— On Jan. 9, Smith hit the Big D’s Tobacco and Gifts in McDonough. He pointed a handgun at an employee at the counter and made off with more than $400. The employee recognized him as a recent customer, Horn said.
— On Jan. 11, Smith robbed a Metro PCS store in Jonesboro. He held an employee at gunpoint and got away with $3,767. That employee recognized Smith as a former high school classmate.
— He hit another Metro PCS store in Jonesboro on Jan. 14. He approached an employee, pointed a revolver at her, and stole $939, as well as a Samsung Galaxy phone, Samsung Galaxy Tablet, and the store’s cordless phone.
“The defendant’s numerous acts of violence against multiple victims, including several who knew him, show a complete disregard for people’s lives,” Horn said in a statement announcing Smith sentence.
Smith was sentenced this week to 18 years, six months in federal prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, and must pay restitution of $16,000.