MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Memphis man gave an alleged thief a run for his money by tracking him down after breaking into his car.
Robert Wooley said he found the man who allegedly broke into his car inside the Grizzly Mart gas station on Summer Avenue. Wooley said at no point was he afraid to approach the suspect — the only thing on his mind was getting his stuff back.
Wooley said Tuesday started out like any other day. He got up for work and unlocked his car door while he took his dog outside. But when he got back in the car, he noticed something was off.
When he checked his car, some things were out of place. He said he went to his grandmother’s house next door to check her surveillance footage.
That’s when he saw a man walking down the street, getting in his car and taking his belongings.
Wooley said the suspect got away with three bank cards and his ID.
Then, an email popped up that said his card was declined at a store.
Wooley said he went to the gas station where his card was being used and confronted the man: 24-year-old Justin Hutchens.
“So, I kind of grabbed him by the back of his jacket and told him ‘Now give me my stuff back’. And he’s like, ‘What are you talking about?'”
After the confrontation, Memphis police say Hutchens jumped into the passenger side of a vehicle and rode away.
Wooley then did the unthinkable — he followed the vehicle to some apartments on Berclair, where he waited for police.
His grandmother, Cheryl Wooley, said this isn’t out the ordinary for her grandson. She says break-ins often happen in the area and you have to be mindful of your surroundings.
“It’s not just this neighborhood. People need to be cautious all throughout any urban area,” she said.
Wooley said he was able to put a lock on his card before it was used, and that’s how he was able to be notified that his card was declined. He say he lost no money in the process.
Hutchens is charged with burglary of a vehicle, identity theft, attempted theft and illegal possession of a credit card. He was released on his own recognizance Wednesday.