A BOY and girl, both 15, have been charged over the hijacking of a Wagga taxi that was dumped in Wodonga after high-speed police chases.
The pair will face Wagga Children's Court today over the car-jacking, which occurred about 2.40am yesterday and left the taxi’s 71-year-old driver needing treatment after being punched.
The driver had been parked at the Station Place cab rank when the girl and boy asked for a ride, and to put their bags in the boot.
While the driver was opening the boot, the boy allegedly punched the man to the head before the pair got into the taxi and drove away.
The driver reported the incident at Wagga police station and was treated at Wagga Base Hospital for a cut on his head.
Albury police saw the cab travelling south on the Olympic Highway as the alleged thieves took the vehicle for a high-speed interstate joyride.
The officers started a pursuit but had to abort the chase twice as speeds of up to 200kmh were reached.
The taxi turned onto the Hume Highway and crossed the border into Victoria.
A Victoria Police spokesman said a divisional van from Wangaratta noticed the taxi about 3.50am.
“The taxi is estimated to have accelerated to in excess of 150kmh so the pursuit was terminated,” he said.
It is alleged the boy was driving the vehicle.
The cab was found dumped in Hume Street, Wodonga, just before 9.30am and was towed for forensic testing.
The taxi owner, Wagga Radio Taxis chairman John Collins, said the carjacking was a first.
“It’s the first time, to my knowledge, in over 20 years at least,” Mr Collins said.
The two teenagers were arrested yesterday afternoon after police saw them in Morgan Street, Wagga.
The boy was charged with aggravated carjacking, driving in a manner dangerous to the public and failure to stop during a police pursuit.
He has also been charged over three unrelated break, enter and steal offences and taking and driving a conveyance without consent of the owner.
The girl was charged with aggravated carjacking and being a passenger in a stolen car.
She was charged over two unrelated break, enter and steal offences.
— WITH DAILY ADVERTISER