ALBANY, N.Y. (NEWS10) — A man, who gained national attention after getting fired from Walmart for stealing empty soda cans, is going to prison for a much more serious crime.
Thomas Smith is a serial bank robber who police say hit four separate banks in the Capital Region area.
What he looks like normally is pictured on the left and on the right is what he wore when he was robbing a bank, including wearing a wig.
Between July and September of this year, Smith hit the First Niagara on State Street in Albany, the Citizens Bank on Washington Avenue, the First Niagara on Western Avenue and then back to the First Niagara on State Street for a second time.
After the last of those robberies, cops caught him trying to get away. They say he backed the car into them and they shot out his windows. Smith gained national attention back in November of last year when Walmart caught him cashing in bottles and cans. They called it stealing, but he said he found them.
He lost his job and then local activists got his back and took up his cause. A GoFundMe page was set up and strangers from all over the country gave him over $20,000 dollars to start his life over.
What he did with all the money is unknown. He faces 15 years in prison when he’s sentenced in February.
He also served time for robbing a Key Bank back in 2002. Something he failed to disclose on his application to Walmart, back before he cashed in those empty bottles and cans.