Greenwood, S.C.; June 15, 2018 – Eighth Circuit Solicitor David M. Stumbo announced Friday that a Greenwood man was sentenced to 18 years in prison after being convicted of a 2016 bank robbery.
A Greenwood County jury needed just 13 minutes to deliberate and return a guilty verdict on Thomas Allen Smith, 53, for the 2016 armed robbery of the South State Bank located at 1224 Bypass 72 NE. Circuit Judge Donald Hocker then handed down an 18-year prison sentence to Smith.
On February 18, 2016, a male subject later identified as Smith entered the South State Bank wearing blue overalls with a dark colored hoodie underneath and sunglasses. The armed robber approached the teller in the bank and handed her a note that said he had a bomb and that she was to give him all the money. The teller did what she was told and gave the armed robber what money she had in her drawer at the time, $2,330, and placed the money in a blue bank bag that he brought in with him. The bank bag is where the alleged bomb was located. Once the armed robber had the money, he took the note and left the bank. He fled on foot and then got in a white Volkswagen Passat fleeing the scene.
A picture of the suspect and the white vehicle were posted in the local media and approximately four hours after the incident occurred, a tip was called in that the subject had recently purchased the vehicle used in the armed robbery from Ballentine Ford. The name of Thomas Allen Smith was given as the customer who bought the vehicle and his address was 407 E. Northside Drive, Greenwood.
A search of his home revealed the white Volkswagen Passat, the blue overalls, dark colored hoodie, sunglasses and a fresh burn pile. However, Thomas Allen Smith was not located at the home.
A former employer of Thomas Allen Smith viewed the bank surveillance video and was able to positively identify Smith as the armed robber.
The investigation continued and two days later an anonymous caller gave a tip that the armed robber was seen at the Lil Cricket on Bypass 72. The tipster believed Smith to be at the America’s Best Value Hotel under another name. The Greenwood County SWAT team responded and took Smith into custody.
Deputy Solicitor Yates Brown and Assistant Solicitor Micah Black prosecuted the case for the state with the assistance of 8th Circuit Investigator Chris Wilkie. Smith was represented by Carson Henderson of the Greenwood County Bar.
Solicitor Stumbo praised the work of his staff along with Capt. Mitchell McAlister, Lt. Mike Dixon, Lt. Jaime Lovett, Sgt. Blake Moore, Sgt. William Kay, and Sr. Master Patrolman Wesley McClinton of the Greenwood Police Department, along with Lt. Josh Hood and Det. Whitfield Brooks of the Greenwood County Sheriff’s Office in securing the conviction.
“Bank robberies can have a devastating effect on the feeling of security in a community, from employees of the bank to the average citizen who hears about it and wonders if something like this will happen the next time they are at their own bank,” said Solicitor Stumbo said following the trial. “I cannot say enough about the excellent work of our law enforcement officers and their dogged persistence in bringing Thomas Allen Smith to justice. My office will continue to stand shoulder to shoulder with our brothers and sisters in blue to keep our families safe.”