A 38-year-old woman has been arrested in Malden, Massachusetts after stealing a police cruiser and leading authorities on a chase.
It is understood the incident started at roughly 11 p.m. on Tuesday when an officer from the Malden Police parked his cruiser in front of a local police station while transporting a witness. The unnamed officer returned but found that the car was gone.
Before long, a state trooper spotted a female driving the car erratically on Boston’s Zakim Bridge. The trooper attempted to stop the driver on Interstate 93 but she didn’t pull over, initiating a chase along I-93 and a handful of nearby roads. The driver was quickly stopped and arrested where she was identified as Renelle Sonia.
“It’s one of those incidents that just happened very quickly,” Malden Police Detective Captain Marc Gatcomb told WCVB. “I would say there are easier ways to get transportation. If someone needs a ride they can easily contact the police station, they don’t have to take matters into their own hands. There were no injuries, and as far as the cruiser there were no contents taken from it and, from what I understand, no damage to the vehicle.”
The 38-year-old was arraigned on Wednesday in Boston Municipal Court and has been charged with receiving a stolen motor vehicle, negligent operation, unlicensed operation, and failure to stop for police. Her attorney says she has a long history of mental health issues, a view shared by her mother.
“She was scared for her life. It was something telling her, like, she was unsafe. She was in a paranoid state, and I think she was just trying to get away and didn’t realize,” Cheryl Sonia told the media. “Think about it. I mean – who would steal a police cruiser in front of the police station? She was out of her mind.”