Online transaction meetup ends with armed carjacking, fiery crash in Mandarin

Carjacking victim: "Doing OK" after being held at gunpoint

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A source tells Action News Jax that at the center of the armed carjacking and fiery crash Monday night was gold teeth. The victim reportedly agreed online to meet up with a person to sell the gold teeth when he was ambushed by two other suspects with guns.

A local business owner carjacked at gun point in San Marco police say it was all over gold teeth.

It was an online sale gone bad, according to a police report. The victim went to the suspects apartment to close the sale.

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He says the three suspects were doing teeth impressions in his car, and the victim said during that time, he was carjacked at gunpoint.

The victim ran to a neighbor for help, asking them to call 911, and when he came back out, his car was gone.

Police spotted the stolen car and pursued it.

George Smith lives in the neighborhood where this took pland, and he saw police chasing the suspects.

“It was probably six to eight squad cars rippin’ down San Jose," Smith said.

The suspects crashed into a tree adjacent to an I-295 on-ramp, the car went up in flames.

JSO says the victim told them three men carjacked him but only  two  suspects were in that car when it crashed and police are working to identify the 3rd.

The victim spoke to Action News Jax by phone. He says he is doing OK.

Original Story:

What was supposed to be a simple meetup after arranging an online transaction Monday night ended with an armed carjacking and two suspects badly hurt in a fiery crash.

The Jacksonville Sheriff's Office said two armed carjacking suspects are in the hospital with serious injuries after a fiery crash along the I-295 southbound on-ramp from San Jose Boulevard.

At last word from investigators, the driver of the stolen car was in critical condition.

Police say two suspects failed to negotiate the on-ramp turn and crashed a stolen red Hyundai Sonata into a large tree.

According to JSO, a total of three men with guns stole the car from a man in San Marco around 9 p.m.

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Officers tell Action News Jax that the male victim agreed to meet one of the suspects on Arcadia Drive in San Marco to conduct a transaction the two planned on social media.

A JSO spokesperson says the victim ran away at the sight of guns and was not injured. We’re told the victim then called police to report the carjacking.

Around 10 p.m., investigators say a JSO officer patrolling the area in south Mandarin spotted the car with a matching description and tag near San Jose Boulevard and Ricky Drive at a closed business.

Investigators tell us the officer approached the two suspects he saw standing outside of the car and began a conversation with them. We’re told the suspects got into stolen vehicle and drove away heading north.

Moments later, police say, the suspects struck a large tree head-on along the I-295 on-ramp. According to investigators, the car then caught fire.

They say the fire was put out by six responding officers with fire extinguishers.

JSO tells us the officer tried chase the suspects in his patrol car from the San Jose and Ricky location, but did not catch up to the vehicle until after the crash.

Both suspects in the vehicle were taken to the hospital with serious injuries. The traffic homicide and robbery units are investigating the crash and armed carjacking, respectively.

“You’ve got to be careful, people buying and selling,” said JSO spokesman Christian Hancock. “Either side that you’re on, you stand a chance of getting robbed.”

If you’re meeting a stranger in public for an online transaction, Hancock says you may use JSO headquarters along Bay Street as a meeting location 24/7, and JSO substations from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.