Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This

This is an archival story that predates current editorial management.

This archival content was written, edited, and published prior to LAist's acquisition by its current owner, Southern California Public Radio ("SCPR"). Content, such as language choice and subject matter, in archival articles therefore may not align with SCPR's current editorial standards. To learn more about those standards and why we make this distinction, please click here.


Detained Woman Pulled A 'Houdini Act' To Steal A Cop Car Before Crashing It

We need to hear from you.
Today during our spring member drive, put a dollar value on the trustworthy reporting you rely on all year long. The local news you read here every day is crafted for you, but right now, we need your help to keep it going. In these uncertain times, your support is even more important. We can't hold those in power accountable and uplift voices from the community without your partnership. Thank you.

A woman who had been detained by two sheriff's deputies in the West Hills area managed to take control of the patrol car, according to L.A. County Sheriff's Department officials. After a half-mile long journey and a series of crashes, the car burst into flames.

KTLA reports that deputies detained a man and a woman for an undetermined reason on Friday night, and put them in the back of the car. But, the deputies walked away, which is when the woman performed a "Houdini act," as KTLA put it, to get behind the wheel, and booked it.

According to City News Service, the driver got about a quarter mile away from where the arrest took place, before she crashed into a parked car, then rear-ended another car with a family inside about 5 minutes later. After that, she struck a power pole, and the patrol car burst into flames.

A witness came outside after hearing the crash and told KTLA that he saw a woman with "blood dripping down her face" sitting on the sidewalk. He also noted that he only saw one handcuff around her wrist, and said he thinks she may have slipped out of the cuffs, which would've enabled her to get into the driver's seat. Authorities said initially that at least one of the people detained had been handcuffed, but weren't clear on whether it was the man or the woman.

Support for LAist comes from

Both the man and woman attempted to make a run for it after the crash, but were quickly recaptured. The male suspect was taken to a local hospital and treated for unspecified injuries.

Witnesses also report hearing the woman passing the blame onto her boyfriend, saying, "It wasn't me, it was all his idea." Men!

Most Read