RICHLAND HILLS, Texas - Richland Hills police have arrested the person who they believe carjacked a 69-year-old Navy veteran earlier this year.
Police said they got an anonymous tip linking 56-year-old Gary Lynn Smith to the crime. He was tracked down and taken into custody Monday in Fort Worth.
Smith is accused of stealing Allan Huddleston’s wallet and truck at a gas station in January. The Vietnam veteran tried to fight back and ended up being dragged several yards. He broke a bone in his leg.
"He put up a fight,” said Richland Hills Police Captain Sheena McEachran. “And I would expect nothing less from our veterans out there."
Detectives visited the retired serviceman's home to deliver news of the arrest.
"I was so happy to hear that because I didn't think they'd catch him. I really didn't think they'd catch him,” Huddleston said. “I was tickled to death. They were all smiles and I was too!"
Doctors told Huddleston he was lucky he wasn’t injured more severely. In an interview shortly after the attack, he said he hoped the carjacker wouldn’t be so lucky.
"By golly, partner. There's no doubt in my mind you've done this before,” Huddleston said. “And I guarantee it'll catch up to you if you haven't been caught yet. But you will be caught. You're a sorry individual."
Police attribute the arrest to media coverage of the story and teamwork.
“This is what teamwork is all about. Thanks to an anonymous tip, our hardworking Detectives and assistance from Fort Worth Police Department, the suspect in an aggravated robbery has been identified and arrested!” the Richland Hills Police Department said on Twitter Friday.
Smith is now facing charges of aggravated robbery and evading arrest.