ST. AUGUSTINE, Fla. – An antique shop in St. Augustine is open for business after a vehicle crashed through the storefront early Sunday morning.
A viewer, who said the noise of the crash woke him up about 3 a.m., sent News4Jax photos and videos of the aftermath. The footage shows a Toyota Venza lodged halfway inside Antiques and Things on the corner of San Marco and Cincinnati avenues as police investigated the scene.
Bob Kolatac, the owner of Antiques and Things, told News4Jax that he learned of the crash about 3:30 a.m. and when he arrived at his store about 10 minutes later, police were still at the scene, but the vehicle was already gone.
“They said it was a kid’s joy ride and they couldn’t negotiate the turn down this street here and went into this building,” Kolatac said Sunday. “They were coming down here and the police were following them and they saw the police and they stepped on the gas. It was a 14- or 15-year-old kid. Nobody got hurt, and they caught the kids ... They took off down the street."
Kolatac said no one was injured, but the store sustained a lot of damage. Broken China and parts of the vehicle could be seen inside the shop.
“It is horrible. This is our livelihood. There’s a lot of damage to the walls inside. The guy is coming back here today to brace it," Kolatac said. “There was a lot of inventory. It was an antique store. There’s lots of stuff in here and it pushed through into the other side of the building.”
While News4Jax was talking with the owner of Antiques and Things, the owner of St. Augustine Scoop, which is located across the street, said he found a gun and loaded clip behind his business.
“When I came in the back parking lot, I noticed something was out of place,” said Brent Beckett, the owner of St. Augustine Scoop. “When I walked over to it, I could see it was a gun. The first thought was it was a toy, and so when I kind of kicked it a little bit, I could feel the weight of it, so I realized it wasn’t a toy. When I walked over here, I could see the clip with the bullets.”
Beckett said he couldn’t believe it.
“I called 911 when I realized once it was a real gun and they made that statement that maybe the two are related,” Beckett said.
It’s not confirmed both incidents are related. News4Jax attempted to contact the St. Augustine Police Department but had not heard back as of Sunday afternoon.
Though Kolatac was left with quite the cleanup, he said that he is appreciative of one thing.
“Thank God no one was hurt,” Kolatac said. “It’s a great way to start the new year.”