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Jacksonville teen stumped by manual transmission after carjacking

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – The arranged sale of a Microsoft Xbox took a wrong turn Monday evening in Northwest Jacksonville when the sellers were instead robbed and carjacked at gunpoint.

But the culprits didn't get far because they could not figure out how to drive the manual transmission in the victims' vehicle.

The setup unfolded about 8 p.m. on Division Street and Commonwealth Avenue off West Beaver Street, the Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

The victims agreed to meet a potential buyer at that location, but were confronted by a trio of young men when they showed up, including one in a red hoodie armed with a handgun, police said.

Police said the teen in the red shirt stuck a handgun in one of the seller's faces, ordering the pair to hand over the video game system and get out of the car.

The victims called police, who detained a 16-year-old in a red hoodie in the area along with a silver handgun with the serial number filed off nearby.

Officers later found the victims' vehicle at Live Oak Avenue and Placeda Street, where the robbers ditched it when they couldn't get it into gear.

News4Jax is not identifying the 16-year-old because of his age. The two others involved avoided arrest and remain at large.

Authorities used the incident as a cautionary tale to underscore the risks of exchanging goods with complete strangers in unfamiliar places.

"The next time you need a place to conduct that transaction, think 'Safer Transaction' and meet where JSO meets," the agency wrote.

In lieu of that, the Sheriff's Office suggested holding similar sales at its headquarters or any of its substations around the city. They're open for business 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

The locations are as follows:

  • 5258-13 Norwood Avenue
  • 9501 Arlington Expressway
  • 8875 Liberty Ridge Drive, Suite 110
  • 3726 Blanding Boulevard
  • 1767 Kings Road
  • 936 Dunn Avenue
  • 501 E. Bay Street

About the Author:

A Florida transplant with Midwest roots, Garrett Pelican is the digital executive producer for News4Jax.