One-legged man steals car, charged with joyriding - WKRN News 2

One-legged man steals car, charged with joyriding

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Craig Funches Craig Funches
NASHVILLE, Tenn. -

Clarksville Police have arrested a one-legged man accused of stealing a vehicle from a homeless woman.

Officers were called to a shopping center in the 600 block of Riverside Drive at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Sabrina Taylor said she and her son were in a rented Chevrolet Impala when they saw a man in a wheelchair in the parking lot of the shopping center.

She told police he appeared tired, so she offered him a ride. Taylor and her son helped him into the car, and put his wheelchair in the trunk.

"The woman said she went to help the man," said Clarksville Officer Jim Knolls. "He had one leg. He got in the vehicle and then a little bit later he had an opportunity, and then stole the vehicle from her."

Taylor claimed she took the man, later identified as 35-year-old Craig Funches, to Taco Bell, then parked the rental car in the same shopping center parking lot where she picked him up.

She said she and her son got out of the car briefly to talk. That's when Funches allegedly moved from the backseat to the front seat and took off in the car.

On Wednesday afternoon, a citizen's tip lead police to the car and to Funches at a McDonald's across the street from where the car was initially reported stolen.

Funches was immediately taken into custody.

"He's giving us a different version on the story than the one we got from her," Knolls said.

Detectives determined that Taylor and Funches knew each for some time prior to the alleged car theft. Taylor had often helped Funches, who was also homeless.

Funches claimed he tried to contact Taylor throughout the evening and into the next morning to return the vehicle

When he couldn't reach her, he told police he dropped off her personal items to her last known address and was on his way to return the vehicle to the rental company when officers stopped him.

Because of the conflicting stories, Funches was arrested and charged with joyriding.

The vehicle was returned to the rental company by police.

"Good part (is) the company has their vehicle back and it appears undamaged," said Knolls.

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