Auto dealer owner shoots teen who tries to steal car, deputies say

Detectives say Jonas Charles ambushed teens who returned to lot after stealing keys

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POMPANO BEACH, Fla. - The owner of a South Florida automobile dealership shot a teenager who tried to steal a car from the lot a night after the keys to all of the cars for sale were stolen, Broward Sheriff's Office deputies said.

Jonas Charles, owner of JC Best Auto Sales in Pompano Beach, was arrested Friday on a charge of attempted murder.

BSO deputies said Charles armed himself, recruited some friends to help and waited for the thieves who stole the keys to return. Eventually, four teens arrived in a car stolen from the lot the night before.

Deputies said Charles confronted the burglars and fired several shots, cornering a 15-year-old and 13-year-old between two box trucks and dialed 911.

Instead of waiting for authorities to arrive, Charles took the law into his own hands and ignored the 15-year-old's plea not to shoot him, detectives said.

Charles then chased the wounded teen, yelling at him and firing another shot while on the phone with a BSO dispatcher, detectives said.

According to the arrest report, deputies arrived as Charles was chasing the teen, who was taken to Broward Health Medical Center.

Charles initially denied having a gun or shooting the teen, instead blaming one of his friends, but he eventually admitted to it, detectives said.

Deputies found the 13-year-old hiding on the roof of an adjacent business. Both teens will face burglary charges.

Detectives are asking for the public's help identifying their accomplices.

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