Woman slips handcuffs, steals police vehicle, leads high-speed chase

- A woman suspected of shoplifting was arrested after slipping off her handcuffs, stealing a police patrol vehicle, and leading authorities on a 23-minute high-speed chase, according to the Lufkin Police Department.

Toscha Sponsler, 33, was arrested after police initially ran her down on foot following a shoplifting call at an Ulta, according to police.

She was cuffed and placed into the back of a patrol unit. As officers searched her bag, Sponsler removed her seat belt, slipped her cuffs off, and climbed through the window partition to the driver's seat, according to police.

Sponsler stole the police vehicle and led officers on a 23-minute chase at speeds up to 100 mph, according to authorities. The chase ended after a state trooper used a PIT maneuver to make her lose control of the vehicle.

Throughout the chase, officers say they could see her reaching for the officer's shotgun which was mechanically locked to the vehicle.

She waived medical treatment at the scene and was taken to the Angelina County Jail where she remains on an $18,000 bond.

Sponsler is charged with escape 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 unauthorized use of a vehicle.

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