A thief clutching a tire he stole from a New York car dealer was killed and his getaway driver critically injured when their speeding car plowed into three others during a police chase.
The crooks' Nissan Maxima was demolished in the collision after smashing into a GMC SUV, a Porsche and a Mercedes -- all of which were parked and unoccupied on the street.
The impact, at around 5:20am local time on Monday, woke up residents on Palmer and Givan avenues in The Bronx -- around five miles from the Honda of New Rochelle dealership.
New Rochelle police Capt. Joseph Schaller said, "One wheel was found on the victim's lap, two in the back seat and two in the trunk. We believe they were taken from the Honda dealership."
"The way he hit those cars, he must've been flying," said witness Angel Mogollon, 40, of the car's driver, identified by cops as Starling Santana, 20, of The Bronx.
The dead thief was identified as Francisco Santana Pena, 24, of The Bronx.
Cops said the five swiped tires found inside the Nissan were mounted on their rims and worth up to $500 each.
A New Rochelle cop on patrol had first spotted the two men about 5:00am near the dealership, where thousands of dollars worth of wheels and catalytic converters were taken in recent thefts.
"The suspect vehicle was coming off a quiet side street which leads into a parking lot that the dealership uses," Schaller said.
The officer tried to pull the car over, but the suspects sped off onto southbound Interstate 95 heading toward The Bronx, as other New Rochelle cops joined the chase.
Santana, who suffered a broken right thigh bone in the crash, was expected to be charged with grand larceny in New Rochelle and other charges in The Bronx.