A would-be thief in Memphis tried one of the oldest tricks in the book last weekend, but he didn’t count on his target being armed.
Surveillance video shows a woman with a handgun chasing the suspect away from her husband, who is standing with his hands up outside a home in a residential neighborhood.
“She’s bold. She ain’t scared of nothing,” the owner of the home told local media. The woman in the video is the homeowner’s niece, who he says was visiting with her husband.
Police say a man in a blue hoodie approached the suburban house on Sunday afternoon and asked to use one of the victim’s phones and then asked for a ride. This is a common tactic used by thieves to gain access to a home or a car.
“People are so bold now day’s just broad daylight on a Sunday come up to you and try robbing you,” the homeowner said.
Video doesn’t capture shots being fired, but the victims say the woman fired a warning shot and the suspect fired back.
“She said she didn’t want to kill him, but when he fired back at us after she fired the warning shot,” the homeowner said. “She said she was trying to hit him then but didn’t.”
The homeowner is just grateful he, his niece, and his nephew-in-law survived the encounter.
“Thank the good Lord he was watching out for all of us.”
A report from January indicates that while the murder rate in Memphis declined last year, aggravated robberies like the one attempted on Sunday are up 8.3 percent.
Property crime is also up, driven by a 23.9 percent increase in auto thefts in Memphis over last year and a 20.4 percent increase countywide.
“The overall level of violence remains unacceptable,” said Crime Commission president Bill Gibbons in a statement. “Implementation of a number of key steps this year in the Operation: Safe Community crime plan can help drive down the level of violence.”
Memphis added more police officers last year for the first time in six years, adding officers to the Multi-Agency Gang Unit as well as violence intervention programs.
Memphis police said the gunman in Sunday’s incident ran toward the back of the house and escaped. They’re requesting that anyone who might be able to identify the would-be thief contact CrimeStoppers at 901-528-CASH.