Florida Auto Dealer Owner Shot Teen Who Tried Stealing Car, Police Say

PHOTO: Jonas Charles, 34, is charged with attempted murder for allegedly shooting a teenage burglar who broke into his car lot.
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A South Florida auto dealer is out of jail on bond after police accused him of shooting an alleged car thief in the stomach despite the teen's attempt to surrender.

The Broward Sheriff's Office arrested Jonas Charles after the incident on May 24. The owner of JC Best Auto Sales in Pompano Beach, Fla., was booked on an attempted murder charge.

"He became judge, jury and executioner. It's just not acceptable," Broward Sheriff Scott Israel said.

Charles, 34, allegedly recruited a friend to wait with him at his car dealership after a group of thieves burglarized it the night before, stealing car keys and a few vehicles, according to an arrest report.

When the alleged thieves returned, Charles confronted them.

"A series of gunshots emanated. We don't know how many," Israel said.

Charles allegedly cornered two of the teens -- a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old -- between two box trucks, police said. The 15-year-old tried surrendering and raised his hands.

"He (Charles) shot him in the stomach," Israel said.

When the wounded boy ran off, Charles kept shooting and chased after him, police said. The boy called 911, telling the dispatcher that he couldn't breathe.

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

The 15-year-old boy is recovering. He and the 13-year-old will face burglary charges, according to police.

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