COLUMBIA — Police have arrested a Columbia man in connection with three armed robberies that have occurred since Saturday.
According to a Columbia Police Department news release, officers were responding to a robbery at Fast Lane 66, a gas station at 2116 Paris Road, early Monday when they noticed a gray Chevrolet that matched the description of the vehicle believed to be used in the Saturday robbery of the Super 8 Motel at Clark Lane, a few blocks away. The officers attempted to stop the vehicle, but the driver did not comply, the release said.
The driver, identified as Deshawn Smith, 36, crashed his vehicle into a fence on Mulberry Drive, then ran from officers until he was caught and arrested, according to the release. Smith is also accused of a third robbery, which occurred at Motel 6 at 3402 I-70 Drive early Monday. The Motel 6 robbery occurred at 4:42 a.m., and the gas station was robbed at 5:12 a.m., the release said.
Inside the wrecked vehicle, officers found aviator style sunglasses and a pink bandana, which the release said were used during the Monday morning robberies. When officers searched Smith, they found money in the same denominations as the money taken from the Fast Lane 66 at Paris Road, the release said.
Officers also found a bag of marijuana and a handgun in a bush at the location where Smith was arrested. According to the release, the handgun matched the description of the weapon used in the robberies.
Smith was arrested on suspicion of three counts of robbery in the first degree, three counts of armed criminal action, leaving the scene of a motor vehicle accident, property damage in the second degree, operating a motor vehicle on the highway with a revoked license, emergency vehicle defined (evading a traffic stop), misdemeanor possession of a controlled substance, operating a motor vehicle in a careless and imprudent manner, resisting or interfering with an arrest felony, and unlawful possession of a concealed weapon. While the bond has yet to be set for Smith's three counts of robbery and armed criminal action, bond for Smith's other charges is a total of $12,000.
Supervising editor is Samuel Hardiman.