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Police: High on meth, man tries to steal cars at knifepoint to get back to his girlfriend

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- A Springfield man is charged in Jackson County with robbery,  two counts of armed criminal action, burglary and attempted robbery for actions police say he took Sunday night after smoking meth.

According to court documents, after smoking meth, Justin Smith, 28, got into a fight with his girlfriend.  He left because police were called and he was afraid the incident would case the court to revoke his parole.

While he was out, police say he spent the evening breaking into homes, holding knives to people’s throats, where children were nearby, intent on finding and stealing a car. His alleged victims included elderly, disabled, and a mother daughter pair as they sat in their homes, near I-435 and Sni-A-Bar Terrace.

Louise Terry said she her husband Carl have lived in their neighborhood for more than 40 years and that nothing like this has happened in their decades on this street. They live next door to her daughter and granddaughter Neva and Amber Crippen.

Neva Crippen told police she was sitting at home at about 7:30 pm Sunday when she realized  Smith was standing in her living room holding a knife.

"He just walked up behind her and stuck that knife in her throat. He said, 'I want your car and your keys,'" Terry said.

Terry said Crippen hid her keys and her phone (his next demand), then Smith turned his attention to Crippen's 20-year-old daughter.

"She got up and told him to get the --- out of the house, what the hell are you doing in here anyway?" Terry said. She said Smith still had her daughter at knifepoint. "Neva took ahold of it and that’s when it cut her in the palm of her hand," said Terry.

At that point the women told police he left and headed next door, where Terry said Smith took a truck from a disabled veteran and his son.

"I don’t guess it made any difference. He got the keys and took the truck anyway."

Police arrested Smith Wednesday.

"Oh God, what could’ve happened. He could’ve killed them both right there in the house. We are real close," Terry said.

Smith's bond was set at $75,000.

"I just hope he's learned his lesson. He needs to face something!" she said.