MPD officer: Robbers preying on drivers at traffic lights

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police are asking drivers to be alert: robbers are preying on drivers at traffic lights.

Officers said the thieves will hide, wait for you to stop, and then rob you. Recently, the suspects fired shots at two drivers, killing one.

While officers said this is a growing problem, Director Toney Armstrong doesn’t agree.

“I don’t want to be an alarmist and say, ‘Oh my god. Now, we have this awful trend in our city,'” said Armstrong, although he admits it has happened.

Recently, a post on the Memphis Police Association’s Facebook page warned people about it, saying it’s “the going trend” and “to be aware of your surroundings.”

WREG is told a current MPD officer wrote the post.

“I only know of two incidents and certainly, two times is too many, but I don’t want to give the impression that this is some rogue group,” said Armstrong.

Earlier this week, a woman told police she stopped at a red light at Prescott and Sharpe when she saw a group of men come out of no where.

She said she felt like they were surrounding her car, and when she drove off, they fired shots. One hit her steering wheel.

The same night, police said the same group of guys tried robbing another man, Kenneth Matthews, outside his home on Sharpe. They shot and killed him.

Police found Matthews’ car a couple blocks over. His windows were shot out.

“A father has been taken away from his kids, his family and loved ones,” said Tunya Currie, the mother of Matthews’ first born.

Police when you pull up to a traffic light, make sure there’s enough space between you and the next car, so you can drive off if you need to.

Armstrong said to keep your doors locked, be aware of your surroundings and let people know where you’re going and when you’ll be arriving.

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