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Cops fire shots at Laurelton car thieves

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The thief jumped into an orange Range Rover with Georgia license plates at 11:30 a.m. Monday as the owner was paying his bill at the Laurelton Car Wash at 220-02 Merrick Blvd. in Springfield Gardens, the source said.People at the car wash phoned 911 and police sent out an alert about the missing Range Rover, authorities said.The car was spotted on the Whitestone Bridge at about 12:15 p.m. Monday, a Triborough Bridge and Tunnel Authority spokeswoman said. While driving the stolen Range Rover over the bridge, the officer ordered the car to stop as it tried to get past the toll, said Greg Lombardi of the Bridge and Tunnel Officers Benevolent Association told the New York Post.But the car jumped a concrete divider and the officer fired shots at the vehicle, said a TBTA spokeswoman. She said the car sped and got off at the Lafayette Avenue exit, which is the first exit on the Bronx side of the Whitestone Bridge. No one was hurt in the incident.The vehicle was found by police after a dog tracked its scent to a Bronx home, the police source said.Authorities were still looking for the thief as of Wednesday, the TBTA spokeswoman said. The suspect was described as a man wearing a hooded sweatshirt and gray jeans, according to the Post.A cashier at the Laurelton Car Wash deferred comment about the incident to the manager, who could not be reached for comment.A spokesman for the Police Department said the investigation was not under the purview of the NYPD and the department did not have information on the car theft or shoot-out."TBTA is handling it completely," the spokesman said.But the TBTA spokeswoman said the investigation is being conducted jointly with the Police Department.Reach reporter Howard Koplowitz by e-mail at news@timesledger.com or by phone at 718-229-0300, Ext. 173.

Posted 7:16 pm, October 10, 2011
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