MANILA - Five suspected car thieves were killed in a clash with policemen in Urdaneta City, Pangasinan early Sunday.
Before the incident, authorities were alerted about the theft of a Toyota Innova so they tried to apprehend the suspects at a checkpoint, Pangasinan police chief, Senior Superintendent Ronald Lee said.
The men aboard the Innova, however, fled from the checkpoint and allegedly opened fire on the policemen.
They were eventually cornered after the ensuing 15-minute chase and gunfight.
Four suspects died immediately from gunshot wounds, while another succumbed to his injuries at a hospital.
The police Highway Patrol Group suspects the slain men were members of an organized carjacking syndicate that preys on trucks and rental vans.
Recovered from the scene were four caliber .45 pistols, ammunition and several vehicle registration papers.