The man who stuck a gun into a woman’s neck carjacked her vehicle and went on a crime spree has pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court on Tuesday, Oct. 6.
Arno Smith, 57, of Hartford, pleaded guilty to one charge of a Hobbs Act robbery, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Connecticut, said. Hobbs applies in instances of interstate or foreign attempted or real robbery.
Between the time of the carjacking and his arrest, Smith robbed 7 places including grocery stores, rental facilities, retailers, and an inn, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
The carjacking took place on July 26 around 11 p.m. in a Hartford parking lot where a woman was sitting in her Honda, according to court documents. That’s when Smith pressed what the woman believed to be a gun against her neck and grabbed her purse. The woman got out of the car and Smith pointed a gun at her and told her to walk away. Then he drove off in her vehicle.
Smith tried to use the victim’s credit card at two places in Bristol, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.
During their investigation into the carjacking, law enforcement said Smith participated in 7 other robberies:
July 27, Price Chopper in Bristol
Sept. 4, Price Chopper in Southington
Sept. 5, U-Haul Moving and Storage on Capitol Avenue in Hartford
Sept. 15, Home Depot in Bloomfield
Sept. 16, Lowe’s Home Improvement in South Windsor
Sept. 18, Days Inn in Windsor Locks
Sept. 19, U-Haul Moving and Storage on Main Street in Hartford.
When law enforcement caught up with Smith, he was sitting in the victim’s car, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said. He was arrested on a warrant from 2018.
Smith is facing a maximum of 20 years in prison. A sentencing date has yet to be scheduled.
Among the law enforcement agencies that participated in the investigation, arrest, and prosecution of Smith were the FBI and police departments in Hartford, Bristol, Southington, Bloomfield, South Windsor, Windsor Locks, Farmington, and West Hartford.
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