Watch: Handcuffed woman steals police car

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By Ana De Oliva
Watch: Handcuffed woman steals police car

A woman suspected of shoplifting escaped from her handcuffs and drove off with a police car, on Saturday (September 2).

Toscha Sponsler, 33, was put into the back seat of a patrol vehicle after police were alerted of her suspicious behaviour in a store in Lufkin, Texas.

While the police went through her bags looking for stolen goods, Sponsler removed her seat belt, slipped off her handcuffs, jumped into the front seat and accelerated.

The suspected shoplifter was then pursued by police for 23 minutes, at a top speed of 160 km/h. She then lost control of the car, before crashing.

Police said Sponsler kept reaching for a gun while she was on the run, but it was locked to the inside of the vehicle and she could not detach it.

The full escape was caught on multiple cameras, including bodycams and the stolen vehicle’s dashcam.

Sponsler, who also had a “felony amount of methamphetamine” on her, according to police, and was later charged with ecape 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 unauthorised use of a vehicle.

She was taken to the Angelina County Jail where she remains on a collective $18,000 (15,000 euros) bond.