• Victim recounts 15-year-old pointing gun, stealing her car in Charlotte


    CHARLOTTE, N.C. - A female victim who was trying to get to work, texted her boyfriend when she felt something wasn’t right.

    Moments after she hit send, a 15-year-old pulled a gun on her and then stole her car.

    A 15-year-old boy was taken into custody after police said he fired shots, carjacked a person and then led officers on a short chase Thursday afternoon in southeast Charlotte.

    “I got out of my car and said to him, ‘I really hope my $12,000 car is worth ruining your life,’” the victim said.

    [PHOTOS: Driver crashes into utility pole during police chase]

    Police said a woman saw the teen breaking into her car near a business on Monroe Road and went into the business to notify employees.

    “It makes me sad for him because at what point in a 15-year-old’s life do you say, ‘This is my life. This is my option. This is the direction I am taking,’” the victim said.

    Channel 9 is not identifying the suspect because of his age, but neighbors in Grier Heights said they are familiar with him.

    A nearby resident said the 15-year-old took her wallet, broke into homes and even stole mail from her neighbors.

    "We just hope he stays away," the female victim said. "It is just amazing how he has escalated from stealing mail and low key break-ins to pulling guns on people."

    An employee went outside to confront the teenager, but during the altercation, the 15-year-old pulled out a gun and fired several shots, police said. Officers said some of the shots hit the building.

    "The witness said, ‘I got you. I got you on my camera. taking pictures of him.’ The suspect took exception to that and shot at the guy. (He) missed him. He's not hurt,” CMPD Lt. Sean Crooks said.

    No one was hurt.

    "I called 911 and I told them I seen the boy pacing up and down the tracks with the gun,” said a witness who didn’t want to be identified.

    Police said the teenager fled, and while officers were searching for him, they received a 911 call about an incident nearby on Cranbrook Lane.

    At one point, the teen stopped at Raymond Sharpe’s Machine Shop and allegedly pretended to be a customer.

    "My son said the whole time he acted like he was holding his groin like maybe he had a pistol or something down in there,” Sharpe said.

    The carjacking victim said a male assailant had held a gun to her head, took her vehicle keys and fled in her white Hyundai.

    Officers circulating around the area found the stolen Hyundai and tried to conduct a traffic stop, but said the teenager refused and a chase began. 

    Chopper 9 Skyzoom spotted the chase in progress on Randolph Road near the Mint Museum.

    The suspect vehicle was seen weaving along a neighborhood street, driving onto lawns and hitting a red vehicle. The driver then stopped, got out of the car, got back in and tried to drive away from officers, but ended up hitting a power pole.

    The teenager was hurt in the crash and was taken to a hospital for treatment, police said. He's expected to be OK.

    "It is a real shame, and this is a person we've worked on in our division, the Providence Division, trying to help him out and get him on the right path,” Crooks said.

    Once the juvenile is released from the hospital, police said he will be formally charged.

    Police departments across the state have struggled with a rise in juvenile crime over the past few years.

    The latest state statistics show the number of young people arrested for robbery was up 4 percent from 2014 to 2015. The number of juveniles arrested for forcible rape is also up 17 percent.

    In 2019, North Carolina teens facing misdemeanor charges will no longer be put on trial as adults.

    This past summer. Gov. Roy Cooper signed the “Raise the Age” law, which he said is a major step toward being committed to juvenile reform.

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