Vanessa Brooks, a 22-year-old Florida woman was jailed Saturday after she allegedly stole a cell phone, stole an officer’s patrol car and then fled to a McDonald’s in Tampa.
According to the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office, police had been called to a St. Petersburg apartment complex on a domestic violence complaint when one of the officers left his patrol car running because a fight was in progress at the scene.
Another officer arrived on the scene and parked directly behind the first officer, but did not leave the keys in the car.
While the officers were dealing with the domestic dispute, Brooks flagged down a motorist on a nearby road – then reached into his vehicle, grabbed a cell phone out of his car and then fled on foot.
She then ran to a nearby apartment building, where police were dealing with the domestic dispute case. She got into the running police cruiser, backed into the parked cruiser, then took off with the vehicle. The officers were unaware of the incident until they were finished with the domestic case.
According to the Tampa Bay Police Department, the stolen cruiser was spotted by officers around 10:00 p.m. with Brooks sitting in the driver’s seat. When Brooks saw an officer approach her, she jumped out of the patrol car and fled on foot. She was apprehended a short distance away.
Brooks was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail and charged with grand theft auto, obstructing an officer, and burglary.