Serial restaurant robberies land Florida felon 25 years

A previously convicted felon was sentenced to 25 years in federal court Friday for a string of armed robberies he committed throughout south Florida last year.

According to court documents, Zeddrick Smith, 46, was identified by multiple victims through photo line-ups.

Smith, who pleaded guilty in March, was charged with six robberies spanning from Nov. 24, 2016, to Dec. 11, 2016. The targeted businesses included two Farm Stores, two Domino’s Pizzas, a Burger King, and a Dairy Queen.

Court documents show Smith held the clerks at gunpoint while demanding cash and four of the six robberies netted just over $1,500, while the amount stolen in the remaining two robberies was not publicly disclosed.

Authorities were able to identify Smith through the use of witness descriptions, surveillance video, and traffic cams with license plate readers. Additionally, investigators used photos from Smith’s Facebook account showing clothing, including baseball caps, he wore while committing the robberies and the vehicle driven, which had a distinctive, decorative “Batman” emblem above the license plate.

Following a months-long investigation, authorities caught up with Smith on Jan. 12, and a search of his vehicle turned up several articles of clothing worn by Smith during the robberies, as well as the handgun used in the crimes, which was loaded at the time it was recovered. As a convicted felon, Smith was prohibited from possessing a firearm.

Smith’s prior criminal history includes a 1994 conviction for grand theft auto and a 1996 federal conviction for unlawful transport of firearms, for which he served just shy of 13 and a half years. However, two years after his release, in 2011, Smith was once again charged with burglary and grand theft auto.

If he serves his full sentence, Smith will be 71-years-old when released from prison, at such time he will then be required to serve five years of supervised release.