Mobile Police said a 16-year-old male stole a Kia Rio, led police on a chase, struck a fence and took out a street sign before coming to a stop in the 2100 block of Gimon Circle North.
It happened around 3:30 p.m. Thursday, May 31 on Dauphin Island Parkway. According to the car's owner, he left the vehicle running because of the heat when he went into Hart's Fired Chicken to pick up his order. He said in a matter of minutes the vehicle was gone.
"As I was in the store someone said... Somebody is in your car... And I said not my car. I went out there and he raised his hands and took off in my car," said Carlos Small.
A call to 911 had MPD on the car almost immediately with the chase ending less than a mile away. The suspect knocking out the street sign as he left the roadway, then hitting a cement culvert -- damaging the car underneath before crashing and deploying the airbags after crashing into the fence of a nearby home.
"I mean in a minute they was on him... He went around in a circle and two police were already around that way... And that's when he got in the high-speed chase," said Small.
The teen was arrested and checked out by paramedics before being taken to Strickland Youth Center. He's being charged with theft of property 1st, reckless endangerment, attempting to elude police and criminal trespassing 1st.
No matter what the circumstances, Mobile Police will tell you never leave the keys in the car, much less running.
Surveying the damage, it's a tough and expensive lesson to learn for Small.
"It looks totaled. But I just thank the Lord nobody got killed. Material things can be replaced," said Small.