MEMPHIS, Tenn. — A Midtown man was shot in an attempted carjacking early Friday and it's exposing a much larger problem of carjackings and car break-ins in Memphis.
Numbers from the Memphis Police Department tell the story.
Carjackings are up so far this year, from 151 last year to 215.
And as of July 14, Memphis has seen just over 4,500 thefts from cars - or more than 23 per day. Last year at this time there were a little more than 3,000.
Friday morning's attempted carjacking in the 900 block of South Cox Street in Cooper-Young left the victim’s truck riddled with bullet holes.
“I just woke up to about 12-13 rounds going off and then I looked outside the window. It was smoke by the streetlights,” said a neighbor who's asked ABC24 not to share his name for safety.
He said he thought they were fireworks at first and soon discovered they were gunshots right outside of his front yard. He said Memphis police quickly showed up five minutes later.
“They got the guy out of the truck and set him on the curb, they were asking him some questions to see what they could find,” he said.
The victim was rushed to Regional One and is expected to recover.
The resident said the neighborhood is normally a quiet area.
“It’s crazy, I mean there’s so many police everywhere, especially in Midtown," said the resident. "You see police all over the place - I wouldn’t expect this event to turn out like how it did.”
Midtown isn’t the only place seeing violent carjackings.
Last week, police said a woman at Baptist Hospital East was strangled, losing consciousness and then coming to while on the ground. Her Toyota Corolla was taken by two suspects, later caught by MPD.
Last year, someone crept into a vehicle left running by a mom. A child was inside at the time. She was thankfully later reunited with her family.
And car burglaries are also a big problem. Many drivers are trying to deter criminals by posting notes inside their cars - we found one from downtown saying, “nothing inside.” Another reading “nothing of value in car – windows have been busted out 3 times this month."
Meanwhile, the midtown neighbor is double checking he’s keeping all valuables out of his car, advising others, "Absolutely. Stay protected at all times.”
The only suspect description in the Cooper-Young carjacking is a man wearing a gray hoodie.
Memphis Police advise drivers to stay aware of their surroundings, never leave their car running unattended, and never leave the title in your car.
Authorities also advise installing a tracking device on your car, so that if it is stolen, law enforcement may be able to locate it.