Police: Teen pretended to want car before stealing it

Donovan Maurice Dawson (Image courtesy Wake County Sheriff's Office)
February 26, 2013 3:17:15 PM PST
A teenager faces charges after police said he pretended to be interested in buying a car at a dealership, but instead stole it and crashed it in a Raleigh strip mall.

The crash happened just before 6 p.m. Monday outside a Family Dollar store in a South Wilmington Street shopping plaza, not far from the U.S. Highway 70 car dealership where police said the teen took the vehicle.

? Click here for Google map of the area. ?

The 16-year-old allegedly took a 2004 silver Audi A4 from Atlantic Auto Sales. A dealership employee reportedly followed the suspect into the shopping plaza, before the stolen car struck several other vehicles. The suspect then fled the scene on foot.

Authorities said the employee tried to chase, but backed off when he noticed the suspect was armed with a handgun.

A state probation officer, who was on duty in the area, noticed the commotion and followed the suspect in his vehicle. A short time later, the officer noticed the teen dropped the handgun, then reached inside his jacket.

Believing that the suspect was possibly armed with another handgun, police said the probation officer tried to take cover inside his vehicle. However, the officer's gun accidentally went off - firing one round. No one was hurt.

The suspect was able to flee the scene, but was later found inside a home in a nearby neighborhood. He surrendered without incident.

Police have identified the teen as Donovan Maurice Dawson of Renewal Place in Raleigh. He's listed in an arrest report as a student at Garner High School.

He's charged with robbery with a dangerous weapon, assault by pointing a gun, possession of a stolen motor vehicle, and hit and run.

And according to arrest reports, Monday night's incident isn't the first time Dawson has allegedly done this.

ABC11 spoke Tuesday with the owner of Global Imports who said the teen did the same thing there last week.

Mohamed Hamoud said Dawson came in and pretended he was ready to pay cash for a red BMW. After getting in the car, Dawson allegedly pulled out a gun and stole the vehicle.

Hamoud said he spotted Dawson driving the car a couple of days later, and tried to follow him, but the teen took off.

We told the car dealer about Monday night's incident.

"Another place? Last night? Wow! He's not a quitter," said Hamoud.

Police reports indicate the gun Dawson allegedly used is actually a CO2 powered air/pellet gun made by Smith & Wesson and is identical to Raleigh Police Department service side arms.

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