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BREAKING NEWS: Suspect arrested in Tennessee

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Only 10 days after issuing a warrant for a 38-year-old man with local ties, Clay County Sheriff Mike Heaton announced Vance Smith was in custody.

Heaton told The Brazil Times Sunday Smith, wanted on two counts of robbery related to a Poland Bank robbery in November 2007, and for being a habitual traffic violator, was arrested close to 2:30 p.m., Sunday, in Moss, Tenn., a town in Clay County Tenn.

"I thought that was a fairly unique twist," Heaton said.

Heaton said Smith signed a waiver of extradition agreeing to come back to Indiana. He said officials with CCSD were in the process of making arrangements to pick Smith.

"We'll probably leave sometime (today) to pick up him," Heaton said.

Heaton said CCSD received an anonymous call Sunday afternoon claiming Smith was at a residence in Tennessee.

"We got the phone call a little before noon (Sunday)," he said.

Heaton said CCSD officials immediately called the Clay County, Tenn., sheriff's dept. to provide the information.

Just a little more than two hours later, Heaton said he was informed Smith had been taken into custody with no problems.

Heaton said Kentucky and Tennessee State Police assisted in the process.

"This was pretty quick," Heaton said. "We feel pretty good, especially the way the investigation has gone."

Heaton said after Smith is returned to Clay County, Ind., he will be given a court date and brought in for an initial hearing.

Heaton admitted Sunday that Smith's whereabouts were unknown.

"We just didn't have a clue," Heaton said. "We weren't sure where he was. We just knew he hadn't been seen for some time."

Clay County Prosecutor Lee Reberger issued a warrant for Smith's arrest Jan. 17. The warrant stemmed from two bank robberies, one in Clay County, toward the end of 2007.

On Nov. 23, 2007, the Poland branch of First Financial Bank was robbed by an individual in his mid-to-late 30s, standing approximately 6-foot. The individual was wearing sunglasses, baggy cargo pants, a Carhart-style jacket and a baseball cap.

Officials believed the Poland bank robbery was similar to an unsolved case in Darlington, Ind., on Oct. 31, 2007.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation became involved in the investigation after officials noted the similarities between the two robberies.

At the Jan. 17 press conference, Reberger said Smith was wanted in Hendricks County on warrants for failure to appear for possession of cocaine, criminal reckless with a deadly weapon and carrying a handgun without a permit, as well as Operating a Vehicle while Intoxicated and habitual traffic violator in Putnam County.

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