Detroit police catch teen carjackers who targeted elderly man

Teens armed with plastic gun carjack 84-year-old man outside apartment building, but police catch up quickly


DETROIT – Herbert Smith, 84, left his Prince Hill Apartment on Detroit's east side about 8:30 p.m. Tuesday.

He walked to his car just a few feet away but as he clicked his keys to unlock it, Smith became a target for crime.

"They said, 'Give me them keys, give me them keys,'" Smith described. "It all happened so fast I just did what they said."

Normally a gold 2013 Chrysler 300 is parked in the handicapped spot outside of his building, but on Wednesday a rental car with New Jersey plates takes its spot. This after three teenage boys, ages 15 and 14 years old, had his parking spot surrounded with what looked like a gun in hand.

"It was lit up like a Christmas tree in this complex," said Smith's wife, Gayle Smith. "But they did it anyway."

"It was me against the three of them. I figured I didn't have a chance," Herbert said.

So Herbert tossed one of the teenagers his keys. They drove off. With his life spared, he went inside to tell his wife.

"I thought he was fooling, but then he got loud and Herbert never gets loud so I called 911 and police were here in 2 minutes," said Gayle.

When Detroit police arrived a description of the teenagers and the car went out over police radio. A different unit spotted them just a few blocks away.

After a small foot chase, all three juveniles were arrested. The gun turned out to be plastic. But getting these teenagers off the streets is something Herbert and Gayle are grateful for.

"I am so proud of the Detroit police and the response," said Gayle. "I am happy that we are an example of how this city and department is turning around."