MEMPHIS, Tenn. – – An accused car thief was caught by police after falling for a sting operation coordinated by investigators and the woman he allegedly stole from.

Investigators said 20-year-old Robert Mitchell knew the woman and claimed he recently stole her car while it was parked at the Hotel Indigo in downtown Memphis. 

They said he then called her and told her she could have it back for $3,000. So, the woman called police who worked with her to set up the sting.

According to investigators, she had Mitchell text her photos of the car to prove he had it and then arranged a time and place to buy it back. However, when Mitchell got there the cops were waiting.

Mitchell has been charged with theft and extortion.

A woman who goes by “Ms. Sally” lives in Mitchell’s neighborhood. She said it breaks her heart to see someone so young in so much trouble.

“I’m sad for all the young people because we living in the last days and they not thinking, just acting before thinking,” she said. “It’s just really bad.”

She said she hopes the young man can get on a better path.

“He got a chance of turning his life around and try to earn what he want in life instead of being out here taking stuff from folks,” she said.

Mitchell was released on bond. So, WREG went to his house. Family members said he wasn’t home and told us they had no comment.