MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Police are on the hunt for two men they say are responsible for stealing a car out of a driveway in the Westwood area, but it’s what happened next that has police and neighbors happily perplexed.
This victim may be the luckiest unlucky man ever because the car he thought he would never see again showed up again the next day.
Surveillance video obtained by WREG shows the moment a man pulled up to his friend’s home on Parkrose Avenue and got out of his black Mercedes. Moments later, two men cross the street and get in the car.
The victim walked over, looking confused, until one of the men pulled a gun and pointed it at him as he ran, jumped down in the bushes, and hid.
The thieves took off in the car up the road.
All of this happened right across the street from a school just before 11 a.m. on Thursday.
Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland spoke with WREG earlier this week and blamed the court system for the uptick in crime.
“We see these over and over and over again, and it empowers and emboldens these criminals,” he said.
According to Memphis Police, nearly 1,500 people were arrested for car thefts in 2022, and in the first eight months this year, there were almost 11,000 total auto theft incidents.
“All of this are examples that these young people feel there is no consequences to their actions. Because the court system is so weak that they don’t punish them,” Strickland said.
But this particular incident has a unique twist.
According to court documents, the next day, the thieves brought the car back to the same location they took it from, knocked on the door, and returned the keys.
Perhaps it could be due to a guilty conscience, but it could also have to do with a TikTok Challenge where the suspects steal a car, drive it for a few days, and ditch it.
Police say they are investigating every possible scenario, but Mayor Strickland says an arrest isn’t enough.
“The court system needs fundamental change to adjust to what’s going on out in the community. The police are arresting them, the courts won’t keep them,” Strickland said.
The owner of the car told us there was some minor damage to the car, but nothing serious. Meanwhile, police are still looking for the suspects.