MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Police say they were following a stolen vehicle from the air with the car thieves robbed three people at gunpoint on an Orange Mound street Thursday.
Investigators said Melvin Taylor, 20, Antwon Wright, 22, and Brandon Jones, 21, were all taken into custody after they tried to run from officers on the ground and crashed the stolen Toyota Venza at I-55 and South Third.
It all began Thursday morning at the Take 5 Car Wash at Macon Road and Houston Levee in Cordova. A man told police he was in a vacuum bay when someone took his car.
Surveillance video from the business showed a dark sedan back into the stall next to his and someone jumped inside his vehicle when he walked away to throw something away. The victim said the doors to his Venza were open at the time, and the keys were in the ignition.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office took the initial report and was able to track the Venza to the Orange Mound area. The Memphis Police Departments Air Unit was called in to assist and said their pilot not only found the SUV but watched two men jump out of the vehicle and hold up three individuals.
The victims said the robbers took nearly $1,000, a wallet, and an iPhone.
Police said after the robbery, the Venza was pursued by officers who had their blue lights and sirens on, but the driver of the vehicle refused to pull over and eventually crashed.
Officers said Wright and Jones tried to make a run for it but were caught. Wright, Jones, and Taylor are charged with three counts of aggravated robbery, theft of property, and evading arrest.
Investigators said Wright admitted to being in the stolen vehicle, being in the chase, and having a gun. Wright is a convicted felon and was also charged with being a convicted felon in possession of a handgun.
All three men are scheduled to appear in court on Monday.