Business cleaning up after stolen car hits building
Police: 18-year-old crashes car stolen from grandmother into cleaners
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A Northside business is closed after a man drove a stolen car through the building Sunday.
What's left of the crash at De-Champ's Cleaners on Soutel Drive at Clyde Street is a pile of debris and some large skid marks. The owners of the business said they're just glad no one was injured.
Police said 18-year-old Tyrone Frazier (pictured) stole his grandmother's car Sunday. He was arrested and hauled off in a Jacksonville Sheriff's Office cruiser.
But the family that owns the cleaners said it's left cleaning up the mess.
Robin Heath said she and her family have owned De-Champ's Cleaners for more than 30 years but never expected anything like this to happen.
"I was leaving church, and I got a phone call that there was a car in the building," Heath said.
Heath said she hurried to the cleaners just after 2 p.m. Sunday to find a huge hole in the building.
"The car was completely flipped upside down, windows smashed out. There was glass everywhere. It was literally sitting inside the building," Heath said. "There's some skid marks here, but I have no idea how it ended up facing this way. Poles are still here. No idea."
Heath said she saw Frazier handcuffed and put in a JSO cruiser. Police said he stole his grandmother's car, crashed into several vehicles, then drove right into De-Champ's.
Frazier is being held at the Duval County Jail on $25,000 bond for theft of a motor vehicle. Police said more charges are expected.
"It hurts, but we know God is in control, so all is well," Heath said. "He was just blessed to be alive. If you could just see the car, it was flattened upside down. So I thank God he's OK."
Police treated Frazier for minor injuries but Heath said it could have been worse. The car crashed right into the side of the building where most people would have been standing. Luckily the business is closed on Sundays.
"There's an L-shaped counter here, and they usually wait on customers here. People drive through," Heath said. "Mom and dad could have been right here."
Now they're just trying to clean up the mess and leaving the rest to God to keep their decades-old business going.
The owners said because Frazier was driving a stolen vehicle, all the expenses from the damage are going to have to come out of their pocket. They said depending on how much work they can get done Monday, they may have to be closed Tuesday as well.
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