CEDAR HILL, Texas - A 71-year-old grandfather of three was abducted and robbed after he encountered a man who claimed to have a gun.
Police in Cedar Hill say the first robber forced himself into the victim's truck and made him drive to another location where another robber was waiting.
Mike Griffith was paying for gas last Wednesday morning when he says a stranger asked for help finding an address. He thought it would take a second to help, but the man had other plans.
“He said he was from Africa and he just got in. His brother had died, and he could stay at that address,” Griffith recalled. “I got in my truck, and I was googling the address. So he comes over and got in my truck, said he had to get off his leg. I didn't think nothing about it because of his age.”
The man seen on surveillance video from the Valero on East FM 1382 had a salt and pepper mustache and walked with a limp.
Once in the passenger seat of Griffith's truck, the man’s tone changed as Griffith realized the address didn't exist.
“I said, ‘You must have wrote it down wrong,’” Griffith recalled. “I told him, ‘You get anybody I can call?’ He said no. I said, ‘That's all I can do.’ That's when he told me, ‘No. You need to drive.’”
The man put his hand in his jacket and indicated he had a gun. Griffith drove a short distance and then stopped and said he couldn't go any further.
The man threatened Griffith again and had him pull into this parking lot where seemingly out of nowhere, a second man seen in the pink shirt got into the back seat.
The men searched Griffith's glove box and center console, taking an envelope with cash. With money in hand, the men got out, walked around the corner and disappeared.
Cedar Hill police would later learn both men were a tan car with a third unknown person driving. Detectives suspect the men followed Griffith to the gas station from a nearby bank, where Griffith had just withdrawn cash.
“The only thing they took was the envelope with the money, which tells us they knew what they were after,” said Lt. Colin Chenault. “They knew what they were doing, and they knew he was the target.”
“I was just trying to be a good guy, and I'm usually not,” Griffith said. “I hope they get caught, and I hope I help them go to prison because that's where they belong.”
Griffith can't be sure if the first man who approached him was faking the limp. Police say it’s possible the men aren't from North Texas and may have just passed through. They want to hear from anyone who recognizes the men in the images.