Man charged with robbery and kidnapping after allegedly stealing 18-wheeler, holding driver hostage

MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Memphis Police arrested a man who allegedly stole an 18-wheeler and kidnapped the truck’s driver.

On Feb. 9, a man told police he was sitting in a parked 18-wheeler at a Marathon gas station on Lamar Avenue with another man and woman in the cab.

According to an affidavit, another man knocked on the cab door, but the truck driver wouldn’t let him in.

The truck driver then heard gunshots, and the passenger’s window shattered.

He then let two men inside the cab, one of whom had a gun.

That man hit him several times in the head and demanded money while looking through the truck, police said.

The other suspect began driving the truck to Lamar and Airways, stopping in an unknown area, where the truck driver was forced out of the truck.

According to the affidavit, the suspects took his Seiko watch worth $500; a wedding ring worth $1,000; an iPhone worth $800; his driver’s license, and credit cards.

The victim told police the suspects then took him to a home and held him against his will for hours, discussing whether or not they wanted to kill him and what to do with furniture in the truck’s trailer.

They eventually placed him in a pickup and dropped him off.

According to police, the trailer was found the next day at S. Third and Weaver and towed to the city lot.

The trailer still had furniture inside.

On Feb. 15, police spoke with the owner of the 18-wheeler, who said the approximate value of the tractor is $53,000. The load of furniture in the trailer is worth approximately $17,000.

The same day, police received a call to a Walmart at 7525 Winchester about a man, identified as James Smith, attempting to shoplift several items.

When police arrived, they saw Smith standing in the parking lot talking to a woman approximately five feet from the stolen tractor-trailer, according to the affidavit.

The engine was running and the door was open.

When officers took him into custody, Smith said he had milk in the truck and told someone to get away from it, according to the affidavit.

In a statement, Smith admitted to being with the man who fired a shot through the tractor-trailer’s window. He also admitted to jumping in the truck and driving off with it.

He claimed he only drove off because someone had been shot and that he wanted to help; he said the truck driver told him to drive it, according to the affidavit.

He said he had paid $100 to use the truck two days after the incident.

Smith told police he had been driving the truck and sleeping in it since, records show.

The truck driver identified Smith as the man who drove off in the truck.

Smith is charged with aggravated robbery and aggravated kidnapping, records show.