Elderly carjacking victim speaks after crime goes viral on Facebook

Mable Coates is safe and sound, but she is still a bit shaken up after a pair of teens carjacked her as she sat in the passenger seat at a local gas station.

The crime happened a short time after noon Friday at the Citgo Gas Station at the corner of Fenkell and Greenfield on Detroit's west side.

Coates had been waiting in the passenger seat of her granddaughter's 2016 Gray Tahoe when one of the suspects opened the door and started yelling and cursing at her.

"He said ‘Give me the (expletive) purse! Get the (expletive) up outta here! (Expletive) get up outta here!’ I'm getting up then. I wasn't getting up fast, because I can't get up fast."

Coates safely got out of the truck. Her granddaughter ran out of the gas station soon after to get everyone's attention.

"Call the police! He's trying to take the car!" said Coates.

Tamara Smith, a perfect stranger went on Facebook Live to inform her followers about the crime. Word spread quickly.

"Then she's telling the police all the places that are nearby that they can look for.”

Smith stayed on Facebook Live the entire time. She gave a play-by-play of what happened and the aftermath, including the arrest of the suspects and recovery of the SUV.

Police found the 2016 Tahoe in the area of Mansfield and Orange Lawn. A pursuit followed, and ended in a crash, but no one was seriously hurt.

Police caught the suspects at the corner of Hubbell and Plymouth only a few miles away from the carjacking scene. The two teens were in a silver Ford Focus. Police believe they carjacked that vehicle as well.

"It just shows me that together we can make things happen in this city,” said Tamera Smith.

“The Facebook Live, that’s not something we’re seeing regularly. We are seeing a lot more recently from the community in helping us to solve these crimes,” said Commander Brian Mounsey of Detroit’s 2nd Precinct. 

“To have a teenager do that to an 85 year old woman? I'd like to have a stick and beat his butt!" said Coates. “You got a whole bunch monsters running around here who don't care about themselves, old people, babies or nothing."

Detroit Police believe the two teens arrested may be connected to more crimes in the area.

Coates tells Fox 2 it’s comforting to know there are people in the community who care.

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