The same two juveniles were involved in two car theft joyrides in two weeks, according to St. Johns County detectives. Only this time they switched seats, detectives said.
David Adams, 14, and Camry Dirden, 12, were arrested last month on grand theft charges. Deputies said they were caught again last Friday stealing another car, and this time Adams was driving.
Clarence Jones, 63, was the man the kids hit last Friday. He said he was on his way to get a haircut about 4 p.m.
"Minding my own business and boom it happened like that, all of a sudden," Jones said.
Deputies said the juveniles stole the car at about 10 a.m. from the back parking lot of The Spot Cafe on State Road 16.
"One of our customers was driving by and noticed the kids were going through the cars, so they called the Police Department as well as us, and they just took off with the car," said cafe manager Dave Pelletier.
About six hours later, the suspects' joyride ended with another crash, deputies said.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, Adams was heading north on Ford Street and Jones was heading west on Butler Avenue. Troopers said Adams blew through a stop sign and the two cars collided. They said the teen hit a chain-link fence, then took off running.
Neighbors said the 12-year-old climbed out the car window and tried to get away, too. But witnesses, including Jones, caught him.
"This one guy grabbed him, and I went over there with the guy and I asked the guy, I said, 'We got this guy here now. We got this kid here,'" Jones said. "So he said, 'Don't worry about it. I'm going to hold him right here until the police come.' So I wobble over to my car and see total destruction of my car."
It was a similar sight Jones drove by two weeks before, when deputies said the same two suspects crashed another stolen car nearby.
"I saw just half of a car sitting there and I saw all of the rescue and police and everything, and I just kept right on going. I went on to the store," Jones said.
Little did Jones know he'd be hit next by the two suspects skipping school to steal cars and ride around town, according to deputies.
Dirden has not been charged in this latest crash involving the stolen car, though it doesn't mean charges won't be filed, deputies said. Adams is charged in the second crash with grand theft auto.