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Cops: Man steals LAPD car, crashes into Starbucks in Los Angeles

A 25-year-old man is in critical condition in Los Angeles, Calif., after he allegedly stole a police cruiser and smashed it into a Starbucks coffee shop. NBCNews.com's Al Stirrett reports.

A man who stole a police car in South Los Angeles and crashed it into a Starbucks coffee shop Friday has lost his legs, according to local media reports.

The 25-year-old suspect, who was the only person injured in the crash, was hospitalized in critical condition, according to NBCLosAngeles.com. He also lost both of his legs in the accident, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The crash occurred at about 4 a.m. near 1298 South La Brea Ave., police said. Aerial video provided by NBCLosAngeles.com showed vehicle wreckage and damage to the front of the Starbucks. A light pole and another vehicle also were wrecked, the Times reported.


View NBCLosAngeles.com's story on driver's Starbucks crash

"That was the most damage I've ever seen to a black-and-white police car in 24 years," Los Angeles Police Department Cmdr. Andrew Smith told NBCLosAngeles.com. "That was an unbelievable scene of carnage. The engine was out, the transmission was in the road, and the hood was down street. The car was a complete and total wreck."

Officials shut down La Brea Avenue near San Vicente Boulevard during the investigation.

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The car was stolen as two officers were conducting an investigation at Adams Boulevard and La Brea Avenue, NBCLosAngeles.com reported. The officers left the keys in the police vehicle, according to police.

The suspect, who might have grand-theft auto charges, drove away at "high speed" in the cruiser, heading north on La Brea Avenue. Officers did not pursue him, police told NBCLosAngeles.com.

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"We're unsure why he took the car," Smith told NBCLosAngeles.com. "Whether it was a joy ride or what. Apparently he saw the police car there, the keys were in it, and he made a bad choice."

"Many officers leave their keys in the car so they can jump back in and get out of a situation quickly," Smith told NBCLosAngeles.com.

NBC News' Sevil Omer contributed to this report.

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