An unusual case out of Searcy starts with a favor and ends with a carjacking.
In the middle of the day, the Walmart gas station in Searcy has a steady flow of customers, like Chase Crawford who grew up in the area.
“I’ve got gas here hundreds of times and never felt unsafe,” Crawford said pumping gas.
Close to the 67/167 Highway, some drivers are just passing through, like one 70-year-old man trying to get to his doctor’s appointment in Little Rock last Friday morning. That’s when he was approached by another man.
“The suspect was able to coerce the victim into giving him a ride somehow from Searcy,” Sgt. Shane Moore with the Cabot Police Department said.
According to the Cabot police report, without the driver’s permission, 47-year-old Kenny Woods jumped in the passengers seat and “aggressively” told the man to drive him to Little Rock.
“Being older could possibly make him more of a target in these issues,” Sgt. Moore said.
The report goes on to say the victim drove Woods down 67/167 when the suspect said he needed to use the restroom, so they pulled into the Wendy’s parking lot in Cabot.
When the driver got out of the car, Woods took the keys, jumped in the drivers side and sped off.
“We actually had patrol officers in the area not related to this call, but when the call came out they were there and they were able to spot the car getting on to the freeway and able to get the car pulled over pretty quick,” Sgt. Moore said.
Woods was arrested for theft of a vehicle.
An open and closed case, Crawford will keep in mind when he visits his hometown.
“I’d like to think that people can still help out strangers and not be too concerned and not live in fear but at the same time you have to be aware that this kind of thing may happen,” Crawford said.
Woods is in the Lonoke County Jail with bond set at 5,000 dollars.
Police recommend being aware of your surroundings, keeping your keys with you and locking your doors while getting gas.