Ocala, Florida — A career criminal committed the same crime twice in one week while out on felony bond and is now in the hospital.
It started on Wednesday, April 1, when Detective Blair with the Marion County Sheriff’s Office responded to the 7300 block of Northwest 42nd Avenue Road in reference to an armed robbery.
Upon arrival, one of the victims told the detective that his father had contacted him by phone and stated that someone wanted to sell him a green Dodge pickup truck for $2,500.
The suspect, later identified as Jeffrey Tyrone Smith, 26, told the father that he wanted to meet in the 7000 block of Northwest 42nd Avenue Road.
According to the victim, he and his grandfather drove to the area in his grandfather’s truck.
According to reports, when the two victims arrived, Smith walked from a wooded area onto the dirt road, at which time the victims stopped their truck next to Smith.
Smith then told the victims that the green Dodge was further down the street and asked if he could ride in their vehicle, to which the victims agreed.
Once inside the vehicle, Smith sat directly behind the grandson who was driving.
As the grandson began to drive southbound on Northwest 42nd Avenue Road, Smith put his left arm around the grandson’s neck and placed him in a “chokehold.” Smith then put a knife directly to the grandson’s throat and stated, “Give me all the money.” The grandson replied, “No.”
According to reports, Smith then pressed the knife harder against the grandson’s throat. The grandson then stated to his grandfather, “Give him the money, it’s not worth dying for.”
The grandfather then handed Smith $1,800. Smith asked: “How much money did you give me?” When the grandfather told him $1,800, Smith asked, “It was supposed to be $2,500, where is the rest of it?” The grandfather told Smith that the rest of the money was at their junkyard office.
Smith then demanded the victims drive him to their bank and withdraw more money.
When the grandfather told Smith he didn’t have any money in the bank, Smith demanded their cell phones. Smith then ordered them to shut the vehicle off and give him the keys.
Smith then exited the vehicle and began to run.
The grandson told his grandfather to grab his gun and shoot the man, at which point the grandfather fired two shots but missed.
Smith got away with the $1,800.
The grandson described Smith as a black male with a very dark complexion, short hair, with “really big lips, and crooked teeth.”
Then, on April 6, a man matching that description committed a very similar crime.
In the second case, the victim told deputies that he owned a shop in Gainesville and had taken out an ad on Craigslist looking to buy vehicles that needed work.
The victim stated that on April 6, he was contacted by a man, later identified as Smith, who wanted to sell a 2005 Dodge pickup for $1,500. The victim stated that Smith later called back and said he was leaving town and would take $1,000 for the truck if he drove to Ocala that night.
Smith then sent two photos of the phantom truck via text.
According to reports, the victim and his friend agreed to take the drive and meet Smith at the Sunoco gas station at Northwest 27th Avenue and SR 40.
Upon arrival at the Sunoco, Smith approached the two victims and stated that he would take them to the truck, but he needed a ride.
As with the first robbery, Smith got in the back seat behind the driver.
Smith then directed the victim to the Ocala Ridge Subdivision.
According to the victim, Smith directed him down several dirt roads, and they made numerous turns. The victim stated that he started to get a gut feeling that something was wrong and became suspicious.
The victim told deputies that Smith eventually led them to a residence located at 5375 Northwest 6th Place.
The victim stated that he saw cars parked on the side of the house but did not see a pickup truck.
He said at that point he really felt something was wrong.
According to reports, once Smith exited the vehicle, the victim grabbed his gun and stuck it in the front of his pants.
The victim with the gun stated that his friend then exited the vehicle and walked toward the backyard with Smith.
The victim stated that all of a sudden he heard his friend yell, “Son of a b***h.” He said that was when he saw his friend bending over in pain, like he had been punched in the stomach.
At this point, the victim did not know that his friend had been stabbed.
The victim told deputies that Smith then turned and ran toward him, at which time he drew his gun and fired a single shot, striking Smith.
According to the victim, Smith fell to the ground but continued to try and get up to come at him. The victim said he told Smith to stay down.
The victim stated that he and his friend then retreated to their vehicle, because they did not know if Smith had friends in the house that would try and harm them.
The victim said he called 911, and it was at that time he realized his friend had been stabbed in the abdomen.
Deputies and EMS arrived a short time later.
Both the stabbing victim and Smith were transported to Ocala Regional Medical Center.
On April 7, the victims in both incidents positively identified Smith. Smith was then placed under arrest while recovering from a gunshot wound at ORMC.
Due to the severity of the stabbing victim’s injury, Smith will be held without bond once he is booked into the Marion County Jail.
He is charged with Attempted Murder, Aggravated Battery with a Deadly Weapon, and Robbery with a Weapon (x2).
Smith had just been released from jail on March 24, on a felony bond for False Imprisonment.
He has previous convictions for Cocaine Possession, Credit Card Fraud, Burglary, Domestic Battery, Grand Theft, Possession of Crack Cocaine, Larceny, and Violation of Probation.
It is not clear if the second victim had a concealed weapons permit, but he will not be charged with any crime.