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'I think we should adopt this family' | Couple collects donations for man who stole their car

"I asked him why he was doing this," Tunstall said. "He said he was just trying to get money to provide for his kids."

ST. LOUIS — Andre Tunstall and Tiana Jones spent their Sunday afternoon decorating a Christmas tree and taping wrapping paper onto cardboard boxes. Prepping for Christmas in December isn't unusual, but some would say the items the couple hopes find their way under their tree are surprising. 

A few weeks ago, Tunstall said he left his car running as he went inside his house to grab his gym bag. 

"When I came back, my car was gone," Tunstall said. 

Tunstall told 5 On Your Side he filed a police report and created a Facebook post offering a reward to anyone who could tell him where his car was. Three hours later, Tunstall said someone called him and told him they had spotted his black Porsche. 

Tunstall and Jones met police at the address provided by the tipster and found the car but were unable to get inside of it.

Jones said they were told they would have to wait three hours for the tow truck to arrive, so officers left and the couple waited.

Before the tow truck came, another vehicle arrived. Tunstall said a man got out of that vehicle and used his key to unlock Tunstall's car. That's when Tunstall approached him.

"I asked him to move out of the car, which he didn't, so I drew my gun," Tunstall said.

He said he held the man at gunpoint on the ground until police arrived and arrested him. However, before they got there, Tunstall said he went through the man's pockets and found his wallet. 

"I wanted to know who he was," Tunstall said. 

He said the man had pictures of his young children in the wallet. 

"I asked him why he was doing this," Tunstall said. "He said he was just trying to get money to provide for his kids. Right then and there, I could relate to where he was coming from."

Tunstall and Jones said they cannot discuss the status of the case because of an ongoing legal situation, but the couple said a few days after the incident, they had an idea.

"I let Tiana know I think we should adopt this family," Tunstall said. 

The couple is using the front part of their store to collect Christmas presents for the young children of the man who stole their car.

"We just want to change the narrative," Jones said. "We don't always know why people do the things they do. It could be out of desperation. Everyone deserves a second chance."

Jones said, regardless of how the legal proceedings go, they want to help add joy this holiday season to this man's family. 

The couple chose not to share the man's name and asked for his mugshot to not be shown.

"We are trying to definitely turn the hate into love," Tunstall said. 

The couple is asking people to bring clothing and toy donations to Luxe, which is located at the corner of Washington and Tucker, by Dec. 20.

Jones said they are working with the Salvation Army, which committed to matching the donation. She said the store also will serve as a drop-off location for the Salvation Army's annual Toy Town initiative to serve families across the St. Louis are who are in need.

The couple said they have not been able to communicate with the man but plan to have a friend connect the family with the donations they receive. They said their hope is that their actions will help make a difference for the man involved and inspire young people to make better choices.

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