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COON RAPIDS

Teen steals police vehicle when officer tries to take her home

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A runaway 14-year-old girl stole a police officer's patrol vehicle Sunday afternoon and fled at speeds in excess of 110 mph after the officer attempted to return her to her home in Coon Rapids.

It happened about 3 p.m. when the officer responded to a report from the girl's family that she had walked away from a house in the 500 block of Sixth Avenue. She was found near Bagley, about five miles east of town, according to Coon Rapids Police Chief Andy Klein.

"The officer located her and gave her a ride back home," Klein said. "The officer got out (of the patrol vehicle) to make contact with relatives, and she jumped in the driver's seat and took off."

The girl drove east on Iowa Highway 141 as officers from other law enforcement agencies gave chase. They used spiked sticks to deflate the tires of the vehicle, a 2016 Ford Explorer, which finally halted in Perry about 30 miles away. It went into a ditch and hit a sign.

The girl faces accusations in juvenile court of felony theft, theft of firearms, eluding and several traffic offenses, according to the Iowa State Patrol.

The stolen patrol vehicle has several thousand dollars of damage, Klein said. No one was injured.

"The guys I've talked to, no one has ever experienced anything like that before," Klein said. "It's just one of those deals."

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