Jessica Lewin thought she it would be a funny prank. While handcuffed in the back of a cop car she slipped out of her handcuffs and into the drivers seat, speeding away in a Saunders County deputy's cruiser, north of LIncoln, Nebraska.
"I don't want the cop car. I thought it was a joke. I really did and, yeah, now I'm here." Lewin told WOWT 6 News in a jailhouse interview.
She may not have meant to steal the cruiser, but once in her possession, she couldn't help putting the pedal to the metal, leading police on a chase that topped out at 90 m.p.h.
"Well -- it was a Dodge Charger, of course I was speeding." Lewin told WOWT 6 News.
When the officer broke pursuit of Lewin she ditched the car on a dark farm road. She took a few items from the police car and a pair of boots from a nearby farm vehicle for her bare feet before crawling into a van. Police found her there asleep. It may have started out as a joke, but the prosecutor isn't laughing. Lewin is facing numerous charges, including escape and possession of controlled substance.
The arresting officer in this case certainly didn't see the humor in having his car stolen, and who could blame him? While you may not be in the business of attempting to restrain suspects in your car, you're still in danger of having your car stolen. Here are a few tips for avoiding the heartbreak and headaches that come with having a car stolen.
Park in well-lit areas. If you park in your driveway consider adding motion sensor lights and train them on your vehicle. If your car is parked outside it may not be safe. In large parking lots always try and park under a light.
Always lock your vehicle. It's so easy, and so easy to forget. Simply locking your vehicle can detour criminals looking for an easy mark.
Install security measures. Enable a car alarm or keep a steering wheel lock, like The Club, on your car. The more visible your safety measures the less likely you will fall victim to a break in.
Never leave valuables in your vehicle. Sometimes criminals find it easier to steal what's inside the car rather than the car itself. Keep valuables out of your car and hide electronics. Put GPS units into the glove box and consider using a antibacterial wipe to remove the telltale ring such units leave behind.