Las Vegas, NV - Woman In Custody By The Metro Police Auto Theft Task Force - She Steals Metro Unmarked Patrol Car - High Speed Chase - Arrested Again

June 4, 2016

A suspect who was arrested and placed into a patrol car early Friday was able to steal the patrol car and speed off from officers until she was eventually re-apprehended, officials confirmed Friday evening.

The woman was initially taken into custody by the Metropolitan Police Department’s auto theft task force, also known as VIPER. Because it is an undercover task force, the woman was placed into an unmarked patrol car, Metro spokeswoman Carla Alston said.

In the next few moments, the woman was able to steal the car and speed off. Though a source said the incident led police on a high-speed pursuit, which is typically against department protocol, officials could not confirm as of Friday that was the response.

Alston said the department would confirm the series of events after Metro concludes “an investigation into what happened.”

Metro’s protocol does not call for high-speed pursuits with lights and sirens in response to stolen vehicles because they can put bystanders at risk.

Metro Undersheriff Kevin McMahill has previously said during a Jan. 26 press conference that the department instead relies on a bubble tactic, which is a “moving containment of the suspect vehicle at a safe distance to aid in the apprehension of the suspect,” typically supported by a helicopter from Metro’s air unit, which helps from above.

Metro did not clarify on Friday if protocol is different for stolen patrol cars. Officials have not yet named the woman arrested.