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Orange County

Police Shoot Suspected Thieves

July 27, 2002|MAI TRAN | TIMES STAFF WRITER

Tustin police shot and injured two suspected car thieves late Thursday after they tried to run the officers over with their car, authorities said.

The men, who were not identified, were hospitalized with gunshot wounds at UCI Medical Center in Orange. They are expected to recover and will be booked on suspicion of assault with a deadly weapon.

The incident began about 6:15 p.m. when officers received a report of a stolen 1984 Toyota Celica.

Officers found the car about 7 p.m. on Red Hill Avenue near Bryan Avenue.

Investigators watched as five men in a gray Toyota Corolla pulled next to the stolen car an hour later, said Tustin police Sgt. Mark Hein. Police arrested two men without incident. The third ran and was later found.

Two men stayed inside the Corolla and "drove toward the officers, who fired for their safety," Hein said.

The officers were not injured.

After trying to run over the officers, the two men led police on a pursuit that ended near Edinger and Grand avenues in Santa Ana, Hein said.

The Orange County district attorney's office is investigating.

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