A Buffalo man last year took $1,600 in cash from a grandfather who had stopped at an East Side grocery store to play the lottery before planning to do some Christmas shopping for his grandchildren.
Payback time for the robber came Monday when Lamar Smith was sentenced to 10 years in prison, but the victim is out the money, which was never recovered.
And Smith is unlikely to make restitution, since he is indigent, prosecutors said.
State Supreme Court Justice M. William Boller imposed the prison sentence exactly a year after Smith and an unknown accomplice set upon the 59-year-old victim at a grocery store on Weston Avenue near the Buffalo-Cheektowaga border.
The two robbers knocked the man down when they saw him pull the money out of his pocket to buy lottery tickets, according to Assistant District Attorney Michael P. Felicetta. They then took the money and ran.
The victim suffered minor injuries in the robbery, and the accomplice is still being sought, Felicetta said.
Smith, 34, of Westmont Avenue, was arrested Jan. 9, 2013, in another case involving a police chase about 11 months before the robbery and not far from the site of the holdup.
During the Jan. 3, 2012, foot chase that followed a trespassing report, Smith threw a loaded pistol into a driveway on Edison Avenue as he evaded capture, Felicetta said. Police traced DNA on the weapon to Smith.
At the time of his arrest, Smith admitted robbing the man at the grocery store, Felicetta said.
He eventually pleaded guilty to second-degree robbery and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon.
The judge sentenced him to seven years in prison on the weapon charge and ordered the sentence to run concurrently with the 10-year prison sentence for robbery.
Smith, who was convicted of sex abuse in June 2000, was sentenced as a second violent felony offender. He had faced a maximum prison sentence of up to 30 years, according to District Attorney Frank A. Sedita III.
Before the judge sentenced him, Smith apologized to the victim, who was not in court.
In another case, a Buffalo man was convicted of robbing three men at gunpoint in May on the East Side.
Cameo Simmons, 24, of Walden Avenue, pleaded guilty last week to second-degree robbery and two counts of attempted second-degree robbery in the holdup May 6 near Howard Street and Fillmore Avenue. He was arrested 10 minutes later with one victim’s wallet, Assistant District Attorney Paul J. Glascott said.
He faces up to 15 years in prison when he is sentenced Jan. 27 by State Supreme Court Justice Penny M. Wolfgang.
A co-defendant, Quincy Casanova, 17, of Miller Avenue, pleaded guilty last month to second-degree robbery and will be sentenced Jan. 2 by Wolfgang. Another co-defendant, Devan Palmar, 20, of Mary B. Talbert Boulevard, faces a bench trial Feb. 3 before Wolfgang on three counts of second-degree robbery.