MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A shoplifting call led to the arrest of a man who allegedly stole a tractor-trailer and kidnapped its driver.
It all began when a man told police that he was sitting in the tractor-trailer at a gas Station on Lamar Avenue on Feb. 9. He said there was another man and woman in the cab.
While they were parked, another man came and knocked on the cab’s door. The driver said he didn’t let the man in, according to coverage by WHBQ-TV.
Shortly afterward, the driver heard gunshots and the passenger side window shattered. The driver then let the man who had the gun and another man into the cab.
The driver was hit several times in the head as the man demanded money while looking through the truck, according to reports.
The unarmed suspect began driving the truck to Lamar and Airways, forcing the driver out of the truck when they reached an unknown area.
The driver reported that a Seiko watch worth $500; a wedding ring worth $1,000; an iPhone worth $800; his driver’s license, and credit cards were taken from him by the suspects.
The driver told police the suspects held him against his will for several hours after taking him to a home.
The driver said the mend discussed whether they wanted to kill him and what to do with furniture in the trailer.
They would end up putting the driver in a pickup and drop him off.
The trailer, which still had furniture inside, was found the next day at S. Third and Weaver and towed to the city lot. According to the 18-wheeler’s owner, the tractor was worth $53,000 and the furniture on the trailer was worth approximately $17,000.
Police received a call to a Walmart at 7525 Winchester about a man, identified as James Smith, attempting to shoplift that same day.
When police arrived, they saw Smith standing in the parking lot near the stolen tractor-trailer talking to a woman, according to the affidavit.
The engine was running, and the door was open.
After he was taken into custody, Smith reportedly admitted to being with the man who fired the shot through the tractor-trailer’s window. Smith also admitted to jumping in the truck and driving off with it.
Smith claimed he only drove off because someone had been shot and that he wanted to help. He claimed the truck driver told him to drive it, according to reports.
Smith said he had paid $100 to use the truck two days after the incident. He reportedly told police he had been driving the truck and sleeping in it since.
The truck driver would go on to identify Smith as the man who drove off in the truck.
Smith is charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping.
The Trucker News Staff produces engaging content for not only TheTrucker.com, but also The Trucker Newspaper, which has been serving the trucking industry for more than 30 years. With a focus on drivers, the Trucker News Staff aims to provide relevant, objective content pertaining to the trucking segment of the transportation industry. The Trucker News Staff is based in Little Rock, Arkansas.