When Mike Coleman, pastor of Carondelet Baptist Church in South St. Louis, told police about the two assailants who stole his car at gunpoint in the parking lot of his church on the evening of Friday, Jan. 27, he described the car thieves as being young teenagers.
One of those teens, an unidentified 13-year-old, has been taken into custody, reportedly after being turned in to police by his own mother.
“It was his mother becoming aware of the event and questioning her son and turning him over to the juvenile courts for prosecution,” Capt. Donnell Moore of the St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department said, according to KSDK. “Investigators are still working to find the second suspect.”
Security footage showed the 13-year-old and his accomplice approaching Coleman as he was getting into his 2016 Dodge Caravan in the church parking lot. They pointed a gun in his face and demanded he turn over the vehicle’s keys along with his wallet and other valuables.
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In an attempt to avert the possibility of violence, Coleman reported that he coached the boys through starting the engine of the car after perceiving that their lack of driving experience was causing delay.
“The pitch of the voice was high,” Coleman reportedly told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. “I am thinking this isn’t real. But the gun in my face was very, very real.”
“I didn’t want to get closer to these guys, but I was very cooperative,” Coleman recalled. “There is no way these guys had driven a car before.”
Coleman’s assessment seems at least somewhat accurate, as the boys abandoned the car a few blocks away from the church after striking several other vehicles. Coleman suspects that the boy in custody may have been used by more experienced criminal operators to execute the carjacking.
Coleman was invited to attend a hearing for the apprehended teen the next week. That’s when he discovered that the suspect had been turned in by his own mother.
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“I commend her for turning him in because that’s probably the hardest thing, but the best thing, she could do for him. Because these people he’s dealing with, you don’t know how desperate they are,” Coleman told Fox News.