Lufkin, Texas, police responded to a shoplifting call at an Ulta store, chased a woman down and arrested her.
But when Toscha Sponsler, 33, was handcuffed and buckled into the patrol car, something surprising happened. She stole the patrol unit. As officers went through her bags of allegedly stolen goods, Sponsler deftly removed her seat belt, slipped her cuffs and climbed through a window partition about 12 inches wide, to the driver's seat.
Police posted a video of Saturday’s incident on Tuesday.
An officer had left the partition open to allow her to receive more air conditioning in the back seat, according to Lufkin police, and also to speak with her through the course of the investigation. The partition windows are, however, shut and locked while in transport per policy.
Sponsler then led officers on a 23-minute, 100 mph chase, police said. A trooper had to use a PIT maneuver to make her lose control of the vehicle.
She waived medical treatment at the scene and was taken to the Angelina County Jail where she remains on $18,000 bond, according to Lufkin police.
Sponsler is charged with escape causing serious bodily injury/threat of a deadly weapon, aggravated assault against a public servant, possession of a controlled substance, evading arrest with a vehicle with a previous conviction and unauthorized use of a vehicle.
The Department on Tuesday installed a screw in all marked units that prevents to window partition from opening more than four inches, a Facebook post from Lufkin police states.