During the 1980’s, Dino
and Troy Smith (two brothers) were notorious characters on the San Francisco
They were known for their
tailored $2,500 Italian suits and Ferrari’s, Porsche’s and Lamborghini’s.
Troy Smith also played football
for the European football league and he loved to gamble in Monte Carlo, Las
Vegas and Atlantic City.
After his football career
ended, Troy Smith and his brother became international jewel thieves.
For five months they planned
a $10 million dollar heist of a San Francisco jewelry store. With the help of
two other men, they broke into a closed down San Francisco restaurant and cut
a strategically placed hole in the wall connecting the restaurant to “Lang
Once inside, cops say they
all hid in the store's restroom, waiting for the store's employees to open the
When the jewelry staff showed
up to open up the store, cops say the Smith brothers sprang into action, tying
up the employees and making off with millions in jewels.
One accomplice was arrested
but the brothers escaped.
Investigators knew the Smith
brothers liked New York and had a lot of contacts in Brooklyn. Dino’s
girlfriend Debbie Warner had boarded a flight to New York and cops suspected
she was enroute to see him.
Cops followed up and learned
that Smith was in New York using the alias Binion Smith, with help from the
NYPD warrant unit, police moved in and arrested Smith without incident in Queens.
Dino Smith had once escaped
police custody by hiding a pair of universal handcuff keys in his underwear
and both brothers were caught in full body armor a few years earlier when police
arrested them for an alleged plot to kidnap an eccentric nightclub owner but
the convictions were overturned on appeal.
With this recent arrest, authorities
searched Dino Smith thoroughly; they didn’t find any handcuff keys.
Another robbery suspect George
Turner, was arrested at a Sunset district motel with $650,000 worth of jewels
in his possession.
While in custody, Dino admitted
that the heist was an inside job and that the store’s owner Mark Zimmelman
was in on the robbery from the beginning and that he arranged it and planned
it but was not present. Zimmelman called the allegations absurd.
Zimmelman added, Smith may
be motivated by revenge because the jeweler testified against the Smith brothers
more than a decade ago after selling gems the brothers had allegedly stole from
the wife of a one time Nicaraguan drug dealer in a home invasion robbery, Zimmelman
said he did not know the gems were stolen.
He also recalled the brothers
as “stylish, cool, collected, articulate and affluent young guys.”
The FBI has upped the ante
in the search for Troy Smith, offering a $50,000 reward for information leading
to his arrest.
On June 6, 2005, Dino Smith
was convicted of three counts of robbery, three counts of false imprisonment
and one count of burglary and conspiracy. Smith was sentenced to 23 years in
prison. George Turner pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.
Troy Smith has been on
the lam since 2003, when he, his brother Dino and accomplice George Turner allegedly
stole $10 million in jewelry. Troy Smith, 43, turned himself into Sheriff's
Department officials on March 6th, 2006, capping a three-year manhunt.
Police will now work with the district attorney to pursue robbery charges in
Source: San Francisco Chronicle