POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) — One night after burglars invaded JC Best Auto Sales and stole the keys to every car that’s for sale, the owner of the dealership armed himself and rounded up some friends to help and wait for the thieves to return.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office, the group waited for several hours but most had left by the time the burglars returned. It was around 2:00am when the criminals arrived in a car they had stolen off the lot the night before and started moving towards a Nissan Rogue.
Jonas Charles, the owner of the lot, confronted the burglars. Deputies said as they scattered, Charles fired his handgun multiple times in the thieves’ direction. He was able to corner two of the intruders, a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old and called 911.
Witnesses told Broward Sheriff’s Office Violent Crimes Unit detectives that the 15-year-old raised his hands up and said to Charles, “Please don’t shoot me.”
Investigators said Charles shot him one time in the abdomen and dispatchers heard the teen say, “You shot me, bro.” The released 911 call gave a glimpse into the exchange between the teen and Charles.
“They’re coming to steal the car again,” said Charles.
“Okay, they’re stealing the car?” asked the dispatcher.
“Yeah” answered Charles.
“Please! Ah, you shot me bro!” said the 15-year-old.
“Is somebody stabbed?” asked the dispatcher.
“Okay, somebody…” replied Charles.
“I can’t breathe. I can’t breathe!” the 15-year-old could be heard saying in the 911 call.
The teens then ran in different directions. Charles chased after the injured teen while still on the line with a Broward Sheriff Office dispatcher, yelling at him and firing another shot.
Deputies arrived during the chase and caught up to the teen who had been shot once in the lower abdomen. He was then transported to Broward Health Medical Center by Pompano Beach Fire Rescue. The teen would survive.
Originally Charles denied shooting the burglar or even having a gun, instead blaming one of his friends, but ultimately admitted that he was the shooter. Charles was arrested on a charge of attempted murder. The 13-year-old was found by deputies on the roof of an nearby business.
CBS 4 News spoke to Charles about the incident. While reluctant to answer questions he said, “I’m okay. God saved me.” When asked why he fired, Charles replied, “my lawyer will talk to the judge and figure it out.”
As for the teens, they will face burglary charges. An investigation is under way in regard to the incident from the previous night. Along with the car keys, a laptop computer and two vehicles were also stolen by the burglars, according to BSO.
If you have any additional information regarding the incident, please contact Crime Stoppers of Broward County at (954) 493-TIPS (3477).