Man steals taxi on release from jail, cops say

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TAXISAN DIEGO — A man fresh out of San Diego Central Jail made a quick round trip back into a cell Wednesday after allegedly stealing a taxicab parked right in front of the downtown detention center and leading police on a short road chase in it.

Moments after being discharged from the Front Street lockup facility, 21-year-old Qais Yonisi allegedly got into the unoccupied taxi and took off shortly after 6 a.m., according to police.

Officers caught up with the suspect a short time later on State Route 15, near Market Street, SDPD spokesman Ed Zwibel said. The driver refused to yield and fled to the north, entering Interstate 805 before exiting onto University Avenue in North Park.

The suspect proceeded to flee to the west and south for a short distance, then pulled over in the 3800 block of Boundary Street and surrendered peaceably, Zwibel said.

Yonisi was rebooked about 9:30 a.m. on suspicion of auto theft and related charges. He was being held without bail pending arraignment, scheduled for Friday afternoon.

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