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Suburban D.C. Cop Sentenced in Not-So Smart Scheme to Break Into ATM Machine

pg.  countyBy Allan Lengel
ticklethewire.com

This was not the smartest of schemes.

And because of that, U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte on Monday sentenced former Prince George’s County Police officer Eddie Lee Smith, Jr., 42,  of Maryland to two years and six months in prison. He was also ordered to pay $10,170.94 in restitution for damage caused to the ATM machine. Prince George’s County is a suburb of Washington.

Smith admitted in a guilty pleas that while in uniform he met with Earl Blake and told him he had a job for him, authorities said.

Smith drove Blake in his marked police cruiser to the SunTrust Bank in Temple Hills, Md., and gave him a black bag with an electric grinder/saw and other materials. He then instructed him to cut open the ATM safe, authorities said.

Though he wasn’t on duty, Smith stayed in the area of the bank, authorities said.

About 3:30 a.m., the bank alarm sounded and the Prince George’s County Fire Department responded.

Firefighters saw the cruiser and Smith told them that everything was OK.

But the firefighters smelled the odor of burning metal and noticed saw Earl Blake inside the bank.

Blake fled. Smith pretended to chase him, but failed to catch him, authorities said. Then Smith drove off without talking to the firefighters or notifying the police dispatcher.

Blake was later arrested and police entered the bank and found the saw and damaged ATM, which had $40,000 inside of it. Blake was sentenced to five months in prison, followed by four months of home detention.


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