68-year-old man speaks out after being robbed in South Memphis driveway

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Robert Okelley will never be the same. The 68 year old was robbed in front of his South Memphis home on Pendleton around 10 a.m. Thursday.

He says he moved his Toyota 4Runner from his driveway to his son’s next door so he could back his truck out.

“I saw an SUV parked across the street,” Okelley said. He says a man got out and followed him as he walked back to his driveway.

“I spoke to him, ‘how you doing? He asked for money. I said I don’t have any money. So he said, ‘Okay. Give me the keys.’ That’s when he pulled the pistol.”

Okelley was surprised. He says the suspect is a lot shorter than him. “I could knock this gun out of his hand. But then common sense came back to me. The pistol makes a lot of difference.”

He says he gave the suspect the keys and ran into the house for his gun. He stepped out onto the porch as the suspect was pulling away in the 4Runner.

“I could have blew his brains out,” Okelley said.

But he decided not to fire. That’s a good call since, in Tennessee, you can’t shoot someone just for stealing your car. You have to be in fear for your life.

“The right thing was not to shoot so, I’m glad I didn’t,” Okelley said.

Police spotted the car nearby, minutes after Okelley called 911. Officers followed it to Poplar and Ridgeway where two passengers took off on foot. The driver kept going but crashed at Kirby and Poplar Pike. All three men were taken into custody but no charges have been filed at this point.

Okelley says his car is totaled.

But his wife Lovie says things could have gone much worse. “Thank God he’s alive because they could have shot him or anything.”


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