Saturday, January 28, 2023

Children Fight Back During Attempted Carjacking in Grove

JCC badgeTwo children fought off a 41-year-old James City County man during an attempted carjacking last week in the parking lot of the 7-Eleven on Pocahontas Trail in Grove, police said.

James City County Police arrested Craig Thomas Smith, who has been charged with two counts of assault and battery, attempted auto theft and attempted carjacking in connection with the incident, Maj. Steven Rubino said.

Four children, who ranged in age from 5 to 13, were sitting in a car with the doors locked, windows open and keys in the ignition around 9:30 p.m. Sept. 11 as their parents entered the convenience store, Rubino said. A man, later identified as Smith, exited the 7-Eleven, walked to the car and reached through the open window in an attempt to unlock the door.

The 13-year-old girl yelled for her 10-year-old brother to grab the keys. When the 10-year-old reached forward to grab the door to prevent Smith from getting in the car, Smith grabbed the boy’s arm and told the boy the children’s father had given him permission to take the car, according to the report.

The boy then pinched Smith’s arm, causing him to let go, then ran into the store. The 13-year-old girl also ran out of the car, yelling for her parents, when the suspect slammed her body into the car and pinned her, Rubino said.

A relative of the family, who live in the area, happened to be outside the store and heard the commotion. The relative shouted at Smith, who then released the girl and began walking away quickly.

Within minutes, officers located the suspect a couple blocks from the store, Rubino said. It is not clear who called the incident into police.

None of the children were injured in the incident.

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