Career Robber Gets 55 Years For CU Holdup

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HARTFORD, Conn. – A man authorities say robbed as many as 15 credit unions and banks last week was sentenced to 55 years behind bars for a 2008 armed robbery at Workers' FCU in nearby Stafford.

During a sentencing hearing, the State’s Attorney told the judge that Kendall “Mad Max” Smith, 42, was a career criminal, who was connected to 10 or 15 additional bank robbery cases through DNA evidence. Smith showed no emotion after the judge levied the 55-year sentence and even laughed a bit as he talked with his lawyer.

Smith and an accomplice, Antwan Byrd, 34, robbed the credit union on Jan. 23, 2008. After the robbery, in which they escaped with about $150,000, they switched vehicles to a pickup, then headed back toward Hartford. A state trooper began following the pickup and Smith sped off. The high speed chase ended when Smith crashed near the intersection of Martin and Nelson streets.

During the chase, Byrd tossed money from the pickup, hoping police would stop to retrieve it. They didn't, although they radioed the money's location to other troopers. In Hartford, Byrd tossed money out the window. People ran into the streets to pick it up and refused to get out of the way of pursuing police.

Of the approximately $150,000 stolen from the credit union, about $143,000 was recovered – most from Byrd.

Also during the chase, Smith called his wife and told her to report the pickup truck stolen. She did, but police didn't believe her. She was later arrested and convicted of falsely reporting an incident.

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