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During the 1980’s, Dino and Troy Smith (two brothers) were notorious characters on the San Francisco nightclub scene.

They were known for their tailored $2,500 Italian suits and Ferrari’s, Porsche’s and Lamborghini’s.

Troy Smith also played football for the European football league and he loved to gamble in Monte Carlo, Las Vegas and Atlantic City.

After his football career ended, Troy Smith and his brother became international jewel thieves.

For five months they planned a $10 million dollar heist of a San Francisco jewelry store. With the help of two other men, they broke into a closed down San Francisco restaurant and cut a strategically placed hole in the wall connecting the restaurant to “Lang Estate Jewelry.”

Once inside, cops say they all hid in the store's restroom, waiting for the store's employees to open the shop.

When the jewelry staff showed up to open up the store, cops say the Smith brothers sprang into action, tying up the employees and making off with millions in jewels.

One accomplice was arrested but the brothers escaped.

Investigators knew the Smith brothers liked New York and had a lot of contacts in Brooklyn. Dino’s girlfriend Debbie Warner had boarded a flight to New York and cops suspected she was enroute to see him.

Cops followed up and learned that Smith was in New York using the alias Binion Smith, with help from the NYPD warrant unit, police moved in and arrested Smith without incident in Queens.

Dino Smith had once escaped police custody by hiding a pair of universal handcuff keys in his underwear and both brothers were caught in full body armor a few years earlier when police arrested them for an alleged plot to kidnap an eccentric nightclub owner but the convictions were overturned on appeal.

With this recent arrest, authorities searched Dino Smith thoroughly; they didn’t find any handcuff keys.

Another robbery suspect George Turner, was arrested at a Sunset district motel with $650,000 worth of jewels in his possession.

While in custody, Dino admitted that the heist was an inside job and that the store’s owner Mark Zimmelman was in on the robbery from the beginning and that he arranged it and planned it but was not present. Zimmelman called the allegations absurd.

Zimmelman added, Smith may be motivated by revenge because the jeweler testified against the Smith brothers more than a decade ago after selling gems the brothers had allegedly stole from the wife of a one time Nicaraguan drug dealer in a home invasion robbery, Zimmelman said he did not know the gems were stolen.

He also recalled the brothers as “stylish, cool, collected, articulate and affluent young guys.”

The FBI has upped the ante in the search for Troy Smith, offering a $50,000 reward for information leading to his arrest.

On June 6, 2005, Dino Smith was convicted of three counts of robbery, three counts of false imprisonment and one count of burglary and conspiracy. Smith was sentenced to 23 years in prison. George Turner pleaded guilty and is awaiting sentencing.


Troy Smith has been on the lam since 2003, when he, his brother Dino and accomplice George Turner allegedly stole $10 million in jewelry.  Troy Smith, 43, turned himself into Sheriff's Department officials on March 6th, 2006, capping a three-year manhunt.  Police will now work with the district attorney to pursue robbery charges in the case.

Source: San Francisco Chronicle




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