RENO — The Reno Police Department has been investigating a recent series of armed robberies of local businesses committed primarily during the early morning hours.
Through diligent efforts by the Reno Police Department’s Crime Analysis Unit a possible suspect was identified, 49 year old R.O.P. target Anthony Lamont Smith. Smith is a 12-time convicted felon who has served eight prison incarcerations. His previous felony offenses include convictions for robbery, burglary, grand larceny, theft, escape, possession of stolen property and being a habitual criminal.
Smith was recently paroled from prison to the Reno area as a result of a robbery conviction in Las Vegas in 2004. He was living in a transitional housing facility in the southeast Reno area.
Detectives assigned to the Northern Nevada Repeat Offender Program, Crime Suppression Team, K-9 and Patrol began a surveillance of Smith and his activities.
Friday morning at 2:40 a.m., detectives watched as Smith quietly left his housing facility on a bicycle. Victims in several of the robberies had reported seeing the suspect flee the scene on a bicycle. Smith rode the bicycle for about an hour until he was seen by patrol officers loitering near a 7-11 convenience store located at 800 S. Wells Ave.
Just before 3:45 a.m., Smith entered the store wearing a stocking cap over his head and face while simulating a weapon under a towel draped over his arm. Smith confronted the lone clerk and forced him to open the cash register drawer where Smith reached in and took about $75 in cash. Smith then fled the area.
Detectives set up a surveillance of the route that Smith routinely took while returning to his residence. Upon his arrival he was met by detectives and K-9 officers where a short foot pursuit ensued. Smith was taken into custody after a struggle with Reno police detectives.
Evidence of this robbery as well as evidence from the previous robberies were recovered. Smith was transported to the Washoe County Jail where he was booked for one count each of armed robbery, burglary and obstructing and resisting an officer.
Efforts to determine if Smith is involved in the other robberies in the recent string is ongoing.