DES MOINES, Iowa – A carjacking on Des Moines’ east side Wednesday night led to three separate police chases and ended when the suspect crashed the stolen vehicle.
The incident began a little after 8:00 p.m. at 1501 E. Grand Ave., according to Sgt. Paul Parizek with the Des Moines Police Department. A 19-year-old woman was exiting the QuickTrip store when she saw 31-year-old Mai Xiro attempting to steal her car.
Police say the woman tried to stop Xiro and was dragged a short distance as she tried to get away. The victim was taken to the hospital with minor injuries from the incident.
A police officer witnessed the woman being dragged and began pursuing Xiro, but because of excessive speed and heavy traffic, the chase was called off.
A Polk County Sheriff’s Deputy spotted the vehicle later on I-80 and began another pursuit, but it was also terminated for safety reasons.
After that, a Des Moines Police traffic unit saw the car on I-235 and was able to pursue it, under slower speeds and better conditions than the earlier pursuits. About an hour after the initial pursuit began, Xiro crashed the stolen car into another vehicle at E. 14th and University and was taken into custody. The driver of the vehicle Xiro hit was taken to be checked out at the hospital as a precaution but was not injured.
Xiro is being held in the Polk County Jail on charges of first-degree robbery, eluding, OWI, and driving without a valid license.