Police recover homicide victim’s stolen van

Robert Wong (Source: submitted)
Robert Wong (Source: submitted)

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - Memphis Police Department found the minivan stolen from a grandfather after he was shot and killed on Thanksgiving.

Robert Wong, 68, was a medical clinic chief in the Tennessee Air National Guard. He was found dead inside his home by a family member around noon on Thursday, and his minivan was gone.

Police are working to track down the person or people responsible for robbing, shooting, and killing the grandfather. The suspect or suspects also stole his teal 2005 Honda Odyssey minivan.

Officials found the stolen vehicle Friday afternoon in the 5500 block of Crepe Myrtle Drive, near the intersection of Clarke and Winchester roads.

The suspect or suspects who stole the van are still at large.

"It's sad, tragic," said neighbor Angela Proby.

Police also believe the suspect or suspects are armed and dangerous.

"I'll never ever forget this, this is terrible," said neighbor Debbra Meadow.

"Just go in somebody house and shoot them like that and take their vehicle, get a job," Proby said.

Friday, we saw cameras on Cochese Avenue. Neighbors hope there's video surveillance to lead police to whoever did this.

Like investigators, many neighbors and family are hoping someone will come forward and say something.

Meantime, people who knew him have been vocal on social media.

"R.I.P. my great friend from the Air National Guard of many years," wrote Donald Hawkins.

"Wong was always kind to everybody," wrote Martha Moore. "It is so sad to think he died in such a horrible way."

Now, this minivan could hold the key to finding the people responsible for the shooting.

We talked to a neighbor who asked to remain anonymous. She says she saw someone driving the van into the quiet subdivision on Crepe Myrtle on Friday.

"The van was coming down the street wobbling and it looked like it was lowered down in the front, looked like it may be on a flat and it was a guy driving it," the woman said.

The minivan was damaged in the front with a flat tire. Police believe it hit something.

Another neighbor says they've seen the minivan in the neighborhood before.

"That's the same van for sure and that's not the first time it's been over here," said neighbor Agreshia Avery.

Either way, police say this is a big break in the investigation.

"We're very confident that the Honda will contain physical evidence that will lead us to the identification of the suspect," said MPD Deputy Chief Don Crowe.

To learn more about Wong, we talked to his close friend Richard Regel. Regel told us Wong was a grandfather who served in the Air National Guard.

"He absolutely doted on his only daughter Kim and his grandkids he thought hung the moon," Regel said. "He was a patriot, he was a good man, he was a good father, he was a good husband, and a dear friend."

Regel says he's hopeful that the van can lead to justice for Wong and his family.

"In some way , it's a sense of disbelief but I'm absolutely enraged," Regel said.

If you know anything about this crime, please call Memphis Police Department.

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