Man who admitted to robberies in Bristol, Southington sentenced to prison for carjacking in which remains belonging to victim's son were never recovered

Published on Tuesday, 16 August 2022 14:09


A Hartford man who authorities say robbed grocery stores in Bristol and Southington has been sentenced to seven years in prison in a federal carjacking case in which a woman lost her cremated son’s remains.

Arno Smith, 60, faced sentencing on Monday in federal court in Hartford. His seven-year prison term will be followed by three years of supervised release, a judge ordered.

Smith’s sentence comes after he pleaded guilty to one count of Hobbs Act robbery. 

Federal officials said Smith on July 26, 2018, around 11 p.m., approached a woman who was sitting in her car in a Hartford parking lot and pressed what she thought was a gun against her neck. He grabbed the woman’s purse, prompting her to get out of her car. Smith pointed the weapon at her, told her to walk away and drove away in her vehicle.

Inside the vehicle were the remains of the woman’s cremated son. 

Smith tried to use the victim’s credit card at two locations in Bristol, according to federal officials. He was arrested on state charges on September 20, 2018, while sitting in the victim’s car. The remains were no longer inside the vehicle, and they have not been recovered, federal officials said following Smith’s sentencing.

During the investigation, federal officials said, authorities discovered that Smith robbed the Price Chopper supermarkets in Bristol and Southington. According to federal officials, he was also responsible for five robberies in Bloomfield, Hartford, South Windsor and Windsor Locks.

In state-level court, Smith still has a case pending in which Bristol police have charged him with one count of attempt to commit second-degree robbery. He is scheduled to appear in New Britain Superior Court in that case on Sept. 29. 

Justin Muszynski can be reached at 860-973-1809 or

Posted in New Britain Herald, Southington Herald on Tuesday, 16 August 2022 14:09. Updated: Tuesday, 16 August 2022 14:12.