Car thieves, pursued by police, ram taxi; 10 injured
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Car thieves, pursued by police, ram taxi; 10 injured

One person left in serious condition by collision; chase ends after cop fires shots into the air

Stuart Winer is a breaking news editor at The Times of Israel.

Route 2, also known as the Coastal Highway, which stretches from Tel Aviv to Haifa. April 12 2008. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)
Route 2, also known as the Coastal Highway, which stretches from Tel Aviv to Haifa. April 12 2008. (Moshe Shai/FLASH90)

Ten people were injured Thursday when the taxi they were riding in was rammed by suspected car thieves trying to escape police, during a high-speed chase along a main coastal highway.

A 25-year-old man was seriously injured in the collision and taken to the Meir Medical Center in Kfar Saba for treatment. Nine other occupants of the taxi, a minibus, were lightly injured. Three were taken to Meir and six to Laniado Hospital in Netanya.

The two suspects, an Israeli citizen who lives in Qalansawe and a Palestinian resident of Tulkarem in the West Bank, were arrested, police said.

The chase began when police identified the suspects driving in two vehicles believed to have been stolen from Haifa and Tirat Carmel in the north of the country. When cops tried to pull over the vehicles, the drivers tried to make their escape, setting off a high-speed chase along Route 2 and crashing into several cars along the way, including the minibus taxi.

With police in hot pursuit, the suspects approached the Shefayim interchange, where cops had set up a roadblock. As the fleeing cars broke through the obstruction, a police officer manning the position, fearing his life was in danger, fired warning shots into the air. The suspects’ cars stopped and the two men fled on foot. They were later caught and arrested.

Police believe the two suspects were part of a gang of car thieves operating in the area.

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