Phoenix man pleads guilty to multi-state crime spree that ended with police chase

An Arizona man pleaded guilty Monday to charges stemming from a nearly month-long crime spree that spanned two states and four Southern California counties. 

Samuel Sven Smith of Phoenix pleaded guilty to four counts related to the spree that saw Smith rob nine stores across the two states. Between July and August 2022, Smith was charged with robbing a Big Lots in Riverside and PetSmart stores in Signal Hill, Orange, San Bernardino, Fontana, Pico Rivera, Redlands, Phoenix and ultimately Rancho Cucamonga

The spree came to an end on Aug. 20. After robbing a Rancho Cucamonga PetSmart, Smith exited the store and was confronted by law enforcement. Smith shot at the officers before getting in his car and speeding off. He then led officers and federal agents on a high-speed chase, shooting his gun from the car. The chase ultimately ended after police rammed Smith's car.

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According to court documents, when law enforcement approached Smith's car at the end of the chase, they found he'd been shot under his chin, and Smith told officers that he accidentally shot himself when his car was rammed.

Smith is scheduled to be sentenced for the crimes in January 2024, and faces a minimum of 17 years in prison, with the potential for a life sentence.