Woman who stole CHP cruiser sentenced - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Woman who stole CHP cruiser sentenced

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SAN DIEGO (CNS) - A woman who stole a California Highway Patrol cruiser while handcuffed, setting off a police chase that ended when she crashed the vehicle into two cars in Mission Valley, was sentenced Tuesday to four years and eight months in state prison.

Casaundra Rose Lane, 27, also known as Casaundra Rose Harvey, pleaded guilty last month to four charges, including felony reckless evading.

"You had people driving on the (5) freeway and the (163) freeway in Mission Valley, and they're seeing a patrol vehicle driving in this fashion and I assume that they're considering that this is a police officer in this vehicle that's weaving in and out of traffic and driving in this fashion," Deputy District Attorney Michael Runyon said at the time of the plea.

A CHP officer originally arrested the defendant near De Anza Cove about 2:30 p.m. on Nov. 6 in connection with a hit-and-run collision on southbound Interstate 5.

Lane abandoned a stolen car after the collision and was taken into custody as she emerged from the ocean, the prosecutor said.

The defendant was handcuffed and placed in the back seat of the CHP cruiser, but as the officer talked with a tow truck driver, Lane managed to climb into the front seat and drive off, Runyon said.

Lane drove on the shoulder of Interstate 5 and onto surface streets in Mission Valley, running through stop signs at speeds over 70 mph before crashing into two cars stopped at a red light near Qualcomm Way.

When the defendant stopped, police surrounded the CHP cruiser because they didn't know if Lane would try to use the weapons inside the police vehicle, Runyon said.

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