NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- Police in Newark are searching for the driver of a stolen vehicle that struck a police officer.
It's the second incident of its kind in just days.
The most recent happened just before 11 p.m. Wednesday near Spruce Street.
An officer at Quitman Street spotted a white Mercedes Benz that had been reported stolen out of Elizabeth.
Once the driver became aware of the police presence, the driver pulled off the road and struck an officer.
The officer was taken to University Hospital for treatment and is reportedly in stable condition.
The vehicle was recovered by police at Livingston Street.
So far, there are no arrests.
Meantime, A Union man is under arrest after allegedly fleeing from a stolen vehicle that hit two pedestrians.
Norven Dee Alcius, 19, is facing a charge of receiving stolen property.
"Sadly, the vehicle that struck the two victims was reported stolen after being left running and unattended," Newark Public Safety Director Brian O'Hara said. "This incident highlights the problem we're having, not only in Newark, but across the region, as driver complacency is leading to an increase in motor vehicle theft."
At approximately 9 a.m. Tuesday, police responded to the area of Broad Street and Market Street on a call of two pedestrians struck.
The victims were transported to University Hospital for treatment. They both are reportedly in serious, but stable condition.
Alcius, the alleged driver, exited the vehicle after it struck the two victims, who were both at a bus stop.
He was arrested by responding officers.
The vehicle, a black 2021 Mazda CX-9, was reported stolen Monday at 10:15 p.m. after it was left running and unattended in the 800 block of Broad Street.
So far this year, 534 vehicles were stolen after being left running and unattended. This is an increase of 68% from year 2020, when 263 vehicles were stolen due to driver complacency.
"It only takes seconds for a thief to steal a vehicle left running with the keys in the ignition or with the key fob inside," Director O'Hara added. "It is tragic that such complacency creates the opportunity not just for auto theft, but more serious crimes that can cause significant harm in the community. Drivers must be responsible for securing their vehicles."