FAIRFIELD, N.J. (AP) — A police officer probing the theft of several vehicles from a northern New Jersey auto dealership was injured early Sunday when a stolen pickup truck crashed into his cruiser.

Fairfield officer Alex Cifelli was being treated at Morristown Medical Center for undisclosed injuries that weren’t considered life-threatening but may require surgery.

Cifelli was among the officers who responded to the Route 46 lot around 4 a.m. after a security guard there reported several people were trying to steal vehicles.

The pickup soon careened through a locked gate and struck Cifelli’s marked vehicle. The driver then tried to flee on foot but was captured.

Five people — including a juvenile — face numerous charges, including burglary and conspiracy. The pickup’s driver also was charged with aggravated assault on a police officer.

(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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