A car thief was apprehended following a high-speed chase and crash in Toms River, police say.
While on proactive patrol, just after 11:00 PM on Wednesday, November 8th, Officer Michael Weg observed a vehicle that was reported stolen out of Bridgewater, with reported stolen dealer plates, at a traffic light on Route 37. The driver turned into a nearby parking lot, and Officer Weg turned his overhead lights on and attempted to approach the vehicle, but driver, Dylan Panatero 40 of Toms River, abruptly maneuvered out of the spot and exited the parking lot. At this point, a pursuit was initiated.
The suspect continued to drive recklessly at a high rate of speed, losing control of his vehicle, and ultimately colliding with a vehicle stopped at the light of Fischer Boulevard and Yellowbank Road.
Mr. Panatero sustained minor injury and was transported to Community Medical Center for treatment.
The other driver was treated at the scene by EMS and refused further medical treatment. A second degree eluding charge was approved by the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office. A complaint warrant was generated charging Mr. Panatero with eluding, receiving stolen property, assault by auto, and crash with injury while suspended.
Mr. Panatero was also issued several motor vehicle violations. The stolen vehicle was impounded and the owner was notified.