A man has been arrested after allegedly stealing a semi truck and kidnapping its driver in Tennessee earlier this month.
The incident occurred on February 9th at a Marathon gas station on Lamar Avenue in Memphis Tennessee.
According to Fox 13 Memphis, the truck driver told police he was sitting in his parked rig at the gas station when a man knocked on his cab door. The trucker refused to open the door, but then heard gunshots and the passenger window shatter, so he let the man in. Another man soon appeared and was let into the truck as well. One of the men started driving the truck while the other struck the trucker several times in the head and demanded money while searching the cab of the truck. One of the men had a gun.
The men eventually stopped the truck at an unknown area near Lamar and Airways and forced the driver out of the rig. The two men then took his Seiko watch worth $500, a wedding ring worth $1,000, an iPhone worth $800, his drivers license, and credit cards. The two men then forced the trucker back into the rig and drove him to a home where he was held against his will for hours. During that time, the two men discussed whether or not to kill him and what to do with the furniture in the back of the truck. Eventually, the trucker was transported to another location in a pickup and dropped off.
The trailer was found at S. Third and Weaver the next day. It still had furniture inside.
On February 15th, police spoke with the trucker, who said the estimated value of the truck was $53,000 and the load of furniture was worth around $17,000. That same day, police were called to a Walmart at 7525 Winchester about a man attempting to shoplift several items.
Police arrived and identified the shoplifting man as James Smith. Officers found him standing outside of the running tractor with the door open, speaking to a woman. Police promptly took Smith into custody. Smith soon admitted to being with the man who fired a shot through the tractor-trailer’s window, and said he was the one who drove the truck away from the scene.
Smith claimed that he only drove the truck because he thought that someone had been shot and he wanted to help. He claims the trucker told him to drive it. Smith also says that he paid $100 to use the truck two days after the incident and that he had been driving the truck and sleeping in it since that time. The trucker identified Smith as the man who drove the truck.
Smith is now facing charges of aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping.