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Valentine's Day robbery suspects die in car chase [Updated]

February 14, 2010 | 11:03 am

Two men suspected of robbing a street vendor selling Valentine’s Day gift baskets were killed Sunday morning after their vehicle crashed into a parked car just south of downtown Los Angeles during a police pursuit, authorities said.

About 4:30 a.m., two men stole merchandise from a family-run vendor set up on the sidewalk at San Pedro Street and Adams Boulevard, Los Angeles Police Lt. Samuel Rhone said.

“The victims dialed 911, and while they were on the line with the operator, they observed the suspects circling the block,” he said.

After spotting the responding officers’ patrol cars, the suspects sped away, Rhone said. The police pursuit lasted less than a minute and ended when the suspects crashed their Nissan into a parked car near Central Avenue and 27th Street, he said.

Officers were a few blocks away at the time of the crash.

The men, who have not been identified, were ejected from the car and pronounced dead at the scene. No other injuries were reported.

[Updated at 1:40 p.m.: The men have been identified as Charlie Francisco, 18, and Christian Francisco, 20, said Dana Bee of the Los Angeles County coroner’s office. The two are residents of Los Angeles and are believed to be brothers.]

-- Corina Knoll