Skip to main content
Press Release

Hazelwood Man Sentenced to 224 Months in Prison for St. Louis Carjacking, Other Crimes

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Eastern District of Missouri

ST. LOUIS – U.S. District Judge Sarah E. Pitlyk on Friday sentenced a man to 18 years and eight months in prison for a carjacking and other crimes.

Joshua Thomas, 31, admitted being one of two men who stole a 2020 Jeep Cherokee from a woman outside a home in the 4100 block of Camellia Avenue in St. Louis on Oct. 19, 2019. Thomas, who was armed with an AR-15-style firearm, demanded entry to a nearby home and searched it before stealing the car.

Two days later, St. Louis Metropolitan Police Department detectives spotted Thomas and tried to stop him at a market located at the intersection of South Spring Avenue and Delor Street. Thomas sped off in a Kia Optima. Police used a spike strip to deflate the tires, but Thomas kept going, eventually crashing near the intersection of Walsh Avenue and South Grand Boulevard. Thomas discarded a Smith and Wesson 9mm pistol before running away. Police also found drugs, an AR-style pistol loaded with 59 rounds of ammunition and a stolen AK-style pistol loaded with 31 rounds in the car. 

Thomas also admitted possessing ammunition on Sept. 30, 2019, the same day a man who was hiding in some bushes in the 3800 block of South Spring Avenue in St. Louis began firing shots at a group of people, hitting one person. Witnesses identified Thomas as the shooter, his plea agreement says. 

Thomas pleaded guilty in January to six felonies: carjacking, possession and brandishing a firearm in furtherance of a crime of violence, possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine, possession of a stolen firearm and being a felon in possession of both a firearm and ammunition.

In August, Judge Pitlyk sentenced Thomas’ co-defendant, Jeremiah Couch, 32, to 15 years in prison. Couch pleaded guilty to two carjacking charges, a charge of possession of a stolen firearm and a charge of being a felon in possession of a firearm. He admitted involvement in the Jeep Cherokee carjacking, as well as carjacking a man’s 2007 Ford Edge and his money at gunpoint on October 21, 2019 in the 4700 block of South Spring Avenue in St. Louis. Couch also admitted stealing the AK-47-style pistol from the shooting victim on Oct. 17, 2019.

The case was investigated by the Saint Louis Metropolitan Police Department and the FBI. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Szczucinksi prosecuted the case.

Updated April 14, 2023

Drug Trafficking
Firearms Offenses