Woman steals cop car, goes on half-hour joyride



That's one Saturday night that Vanessa Brooks won't soon forget.

The 22-year-old stole a St. Petersburg police cruiser Saturday night and drove it to Tampa, where she fled from the car before being arrested, police told the Tampa Bay Times.

They said the bizarre incident began at around 9:30 p.m. when two officers, driving separate cars, arrived at the scene of a domestic dispute. While the officers were inside the apartment, Brooks flagged down a passing truck, police said.

After the driver stopped, Brooks reached inside the truck, grabbed a cell phone, and ran back into the apartment complex.

As the driver chased her, Brooks made her way to where the officers had parked their cars. She jumped inside one, grabbed the keys, which were not in the ignition, and started the car, police said.

As Brooks backed the car up, she collided with the other police car and took off.

About a half hour later, Tampa police officers saw the car in the parking lot of a McDonald's restaurant. Brooks ran from the car and officers chased and arrested her. Meanwhile, the car, which was left in gear, rolled backward and collided with a tree, police told the paper.

Brooks is facing charges of vehicle burglary, auto theft, and leaving the scene of a crash.

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