Two teenage girls involved in a botched robbery attempt died when the taxi they were in crashed during a high-speed chase after one teen slashed the cab driver's face, Los Angeles police said.

The driver, Javier Hernandez, 40, was treated at a hospital for minor injuries, including cuts to his neck and face, Los Angeles Police Department Sgt. Lee Sands said.

The two 17-year-old girls had flagged down the cab early Tuesday and asked to be taken to a nearby housing project, where one girl said her boyfriend would come and pay the fare, police said.

Instead, a man shoved a handgun through the taxi window and grabbed a GPS system off the dashboard, Officer Jason Lee said. Hernandez sped away and called police after seeing a car chasing him, Lee said.

"One of the females pulled out a box cutter and began cutting the taxi cab driver, and that's what caused him to crash," Officer April Harding said.

Police arrived at the scene as the other car reached the crash site, Lee said. Three occupants from the second car were detained for questioning, he said.

Hector Jasso and Daniel Martinez, both 20, were arrested for investigation of murder because the girls' deaths occurred during the alleged commission of a crime, Lee said. Both were being held without bail. The third occupant of the car was released.

Lee said Jasso was the robbery suspect and boyfriend of one of the girls.