Teen charged in two car thefts after parking lot collision

rgallagher@newsobserver.comFebruary 26, 2013 

Donovan Maurice Dawson


A 16-year-old Garner High School student has been charged with taking a vehicle at gunpoint from a Raleigh car dealer Feb. 19 and in a Monday incident involving a car taken from a Garner dealer and crashed in a Raleigh parking lot.

Donovan Maurice Dawson, 16, of 1120 Renewal Place in Raleigh, was looking at a 2004 Audi A4 on Monday at Atlantic Auto Sales at 1536 U.S. 70 West in Garner, according to Raleigh police spokesman Jim Sughrue and arrest warrants.

Sughrue said Dawson left the lot driving the car. A salesman followed and caught up with the vehicle in a parking lot on South Wilmington Street in Raleigh, where the Audi had hit several cars. Dawson left the Audi on foot, Sughrue said.

While the salesman was trying to stop Dawson, Sughrue said, a probation officer who was nearby saw what was going on. The officer, whose name was not disclosed by police, said he saw a teen running and dropping a handgun. The probation officer, who was still in his car, thought the suspect might have a second gun, according to police.

As the probation officer leaned over in his vehicle, his weapon went off by accident, Sughrue said.

Police later arrested Dawson at the apartment where he lives, according to an arrest report.

They also charged him with robbery with a dangerous weapon and assault by pointing a gun in the theft of a 2005 BMW 325i on Feb. 19 at Global Motors at 2510 S. Wilmington St. in Raleigh. The BMW was recovered later when a Global employee saw the car in Garner and followed it until the driver jumped out and ran off, Sughrue said.

In the Audi case, Dawson is charged with possession of a stolen motor vehicle and hit-and-run for leaving the scene of an accident. Garner police are still investigating and may file additional charges.

Dawson was being held Tuesday in lieu of $108,000 bail.

Sughrue said the state Department of Public Safety told police it would review the incident because of the probation officer’s gun going off.

Gallagher: 919-829-4572

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