ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) - An 18-year-old man suspected of committing multiple carjackings and robberies is behind bars. Thomas Earl Jackson is charged with several counts of armed criminal action, robbery and stealing cars. He is believed to have targeted his victims, most of them women, while they were loading or unloading their vehicles. In some cases, he used a gun and threatened the victims' lives.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Jennifer Joyce said, "Thank goodness no one was hurt. But, I can tell you, talking to victims of armed robbery, it's really a life changing event for people. It's terrifying to have someone point a gun at you and demand your property and that's what this individual did.
The crimes began back in October. One of the first occurred on a north St. Louis Schnucks parking lot. Police said a woman was approached by Jackson and he pulled out a gun and told her he'd shoot her if she didn't give him the car.
Jackson is also suspected of stealing cars and a woman's purse on McPherson. In one incident, three children, one of them a baby, were there when Jackson stole the vehicle. The adults barely got the baby out of the car before Jackson drove away.
The circuit Attorney credits strong work by police detectives in removing the suspect from the streets.
Joyce said, "Anytime you are committing a crime using a gun it is very easy for that to turn into a homicide. I've seen it many times. Many of the homicides we prosecute are robberies that went that next step and become a homicide. That can happen very easily."
The most recent crimes allegedly involving Jackson happened just last week. Police are looking for Jackson's accomplice and believe there may be other victims. Authorities are asking for any victims who have already contacted them to call.
Investigators said Jackson admitted to taking the cars and other personal items.