MEMPHIS, Tenn — A man has been arrested and charged with carjacking a MIFA Meals on Wheels worker while she was making deliveries.
Willie Conway was arraigned Wednesday on a charge of carjacking and is in jail on $100,000 bond.
The Metropolitan Inter-Faith Association said the worker was making deliveries on her regular residential route in South Memphis. According to the police affidavit, just after 10:30 a.m. Tuesday, July 5, 2022, the worker was in the 100 block of East Fernwood Avenue when a man – later identified as Conway – approached and struck up a conversation. She told police Conway then pulled out a large knife and threatened her. The report said Conway jumped in the Meals on Wheels vehicle and took off.
According to the affidavit, officers spotted the vehicle, but lost it, then found it again in the 1900 block of Riverside Drive. Investigators said they got video from the area which showed a man fitting the carjacker’s description going into a home in the 300 block of Joubert. Police said the homeowner told them her two sons were inside and agreed to a search. Investigators said they found the keys to the stolen vehicle in a bedroom, along with paperwork identifying Conway.
Conway is due back in court July 13, 2022.
MIFA said this latest carjacking comes just two weeks after a pair of volunteers were carjacked on their delivery route. MIFA officials said on June 21, 2022, the suspects stole one vehicle, and then went to the victims’ home and stole their other vehicle. MIFA said one of those have been recovered.
MIFA said it is taking steps to make volunteer drivers more visible, with fluorescent vests and car magnets.
MIFA also released the following message to supporters:
Sadly, I am writing to share that another MIFA Meals on Wheels driver has been the victim of a carjacking. This time it was a MIFA staff member delivering her regular residential route on Tuesday morning, July 5.
This incident comes two weeks after a pair of volunteers were carjacked on their delivery route.
We are grateful that no one was physically injured during either of these crimes, but of course there is an emotional toll—on the victims, the clients, and our other staff and volunteer drivers who are committed to serving our senior neighbors.
The safety of our staff and our volunteers is our highest priority, and we are exploring changes we can make—from training to delivery practices to signage to technology—to help keep them safe. If you have ideas or solutions you’d like to share with us, please reach out.
Crime in our community is troubling, and it can be especially scary when it hits close to home—when someone you know, or someone doing things you regularly do, is a victim. But MIFA was created to serve as a healing force in a broken community, and we need the support of our volunteers, donors, and advocates to continue this work.
Thank you for standing with us as we continue delivering meals—dependably but safely—to our neighbors who rely on this service.
Sally Jones Heinz
President & CEO"