'Modern Day Bonnie and Clyde' charged for $1 million NEPA burglary spree
The Lackawanna County District Attorney's Office has charged a couple they are calling a "Modern-day Bonnie and Clyde."
According to District Attorney Mark Powell, Francis and Dorri Smith, formerly of Scranton, netted nearly $1 million from burglary sprees in Northeastern Pennsylvania between November 2016 and September 2017. Police say the couple "ransacked" 26 homes and a business in Lackawanna, Wayne, Wyoming, and Carbon counties, four of them more than once.
They say they stole cash in excess of $100,000 and more than $800,000 in property. That includes nearly 50 firearms, safes, high-end jewelry, oil paintings, antiques, designer fashion, furniture, collectible coins, cameras, and more.
Dorri Smith told investigators back in September of 2017 that she and Francis had been involved in several burglaries, and she provided details about the locations of some of them. At one point, she told them the couple considered burglarizing people's homes as their "day job." A search warrant was executed on September 30, 2017 where several of the stolen items were recovered by authorities.
On October 13, 2017, Francis Smith was interviewed by State Police in Dunmore, with his attorney, Jamie Dench, present. Smith admitted to several burglaries and "taking lots of guns."
It was learned that the Smith's sold a large amount of jewelry to "All About Collectibles," located at 535 Greenridge Street in Scranton, back on October 24, 2017. One of the employees provided investigators with copies of sales records tied to Francis Smith.
"We believe they were doing their homework, getting information, and pursuing specific homes as a result of the information they received."
A preliminary hearing was scheduled for the Smith's for December 20, 2017, but the couple never showed up after posting bail. Instead they fled, prompting a nationwide manhunt.
The couple was was located by authorities in Panama City, Florida back in May. They were brought back to Lackawanna County, where they were arraigned Wednesday. A judge did not grant bail to the Smith's.
Lackawanna County will prosecute all charges. Francis Smith is facing 145 counts of burglary, criminal conspiracy to commit burglary, theft, criminal trespass, and receiving stolen property. Dorri Smith faces 95 counts of those charges.
Many of the items stolen by the couple were never recovered, but some were recovered and identified by their owners at the State Police barracks in Dunmore. Roughly 20 of the stolen firearms were returned to their owners. Nearly $250,000 worth of stolen property have also been returned.