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Commonwealth's Attorney News Releases

Posted on: November 9, 2023

Commonwealth v. Donte L. Smith

Man Sentenced to 4 ½ Years for Burglarizing Norfolk ABC Stores in 2022

NORFOLK, Va. – Today, 36-year-old Donte Lamont Smith was sentenced in Norfolk Circuit Court to four years and six months in prison for a series of 2022 burglaries primarily targeting local Virginia ABC stores, for stealing a woman’s car that he later used to commit a burglary, and for violating the terms of his probation from previous burglaries he committed.

Between Nov. 7 and Nov. 27, 2022, Mr. Smith burglarized the ABC stores on Tidewater Drive, Colley Avenue, Granby Street at Wards Corner, West Ocean View Avenue, and International Boulevard. Mr. Smith was seen on video surveillance footage from each of the burglaries breaking in through the windows near the store entrances. During each of the burglaries, Mr. Smith stole numerous liquor bottles and damaged other merchandise.

On Nov. 25, 2022, after having committed some of the burglaries, Mr. Smith stole a woman’s Toyota Camry that was left running outside of a Dollar General store on West Ocean View Avenue. The woman reported the stolen Camry to Norfolk Police, and the vehicle information was submitted to the FLOCK system in order to locate it.

On Nov. 26, 2022, Mr. Smith burglarized an Exxon gas station store on East Princess Anne Road, again by breaking a front window, and stole alcoholic beverages and cigarettes. Early the following morning, on Nov. 27, Mr. Smith burglarized the ABC store on International Boulevard. When Norfolk Police officers responded to the store alarm call, they saw Mr. Smith driving away in the stolen Camry. Mr. Smith led the officers on a pursuit and eventually crashed the Camry in the 5200 block of Norview Avenue. He was arrested after attempting to flee the scene of the crash on foot and confessed to each of the burglaries over the course of the month. Officers also found more than two dozen bottles of liquor in the trunk of the Camry that had just been stolen.

On Aug. 29, Mr. Smith pleaded guilty to four counts of statutory burglary and three counts of grand larceny, and Judge Jerrauld C. Jones accepted his plea with an agreed maximum active sentence of five years.

On Thursday, Nov. 9, Judge Jones sentenced Mr. Smith to 14 years in prison, with all but four years suspended on the conditions that Mr. Smith be of uniform good behavior for three years, complete an indeterminate period of supervised probation, and be banned from Virginia ABC stores for the duration of his probation.

At the time of the 2022 burglaries, Mr. Smith was on probation for offenses from 2014 and 2019 involving burglary and larceny. For violating the terms of his probation in those cases, Judge Jones sentenced Mr. Smith to six more months to serve in prison, bringing Mr. Smith’s total active sentence to four years and six months.

“Mr. Smith damaged people’s property, disrupted their lives, and — when the police came to arrest him — endangered himself, the police, and others,” said Commonwealth’s Attorney Ramin Fatehi. “Mr. Smith will serve a sentence equal to his crimes, and I hope that he will take the time while in prison to address the problems that led him to this place.” 

Assistant Commonwealth’s Attorney Alexander Rosenberg led the sentencing of Mr. Smith’s current cases on behalf of the Commonwealth, and Norfolk Police Detective John A. Schraft Jr. led the investigation.

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