Alto woman in custody after stealing patrol car, pursuit in Lufk - | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

Alto woman in custody after stealing patrol car, pursuit in Lufkin

(Source: Angelina County Jail records) (Source: Angelina County Jail records)
Stolen patrol car after wreck ( Source: Lufkin Police Department) Stolen patrol car after wreck ( Source: Lufkin Police Department)
(Source: Lufkin PD) (Source: Lufkin PD)

A female suspect is in custody after stealing a patrol car, leading officers on a pursuit Saturday afternoon. 

Toscha Sponsler, 33, was arrested on multiple charges, including possession of methamphetamine, unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, and escaping and evading police.

Earlier Saturday evening, Sponsler was arrested by the Lufkin Police Department, after running away from officers asking her about possible shoplifting at Lufkin's Ulta.

Sponsler was handcuffed and placed in the back of a patrol car. While the two officers searched her belongings, Sponsler escaped out of one of the handcuffs and crawled through the partition. She then took control of the car and drove off on Loop 287 at Tulane.

The two officers called for additional help, which soon led to a high-speed chase, involving the Angelina County Sheriff's Office, the Texas Department of Public Safety, the Texas Parks and Wildlife, and the Zavalla Police Department.

The chase reached speeds of up to 100 mph and went all the way to Zavalla.

Troopers with DPS used a PIT (pursuit intervention technique) maneuver to cause Sponsler to crash the car into a tree. The crash occurred near State Highway 63 at the US Highway 69 intersection, just before Main Street.

A medical unit was called, but Sponsler didn't require extensive medical treatment and was transported to the Angelina County Jail. 

According to Lufkin Police Department's Assistant Chief, David Thomas, the escape will be investigated to make sure this doesn't happen again.

"We are fortunate that no one was hurt during the incident," said Thomas. "Although we haven't had anything like this happen in the past, we will conduct an internal investigation to review the incident, for training or tactical deficiencies."

According to Angelina County Jail records, Sponsler was charged with threat of a deadly weapon, aggravated assault against a public servant, possession of controlled substance pg 1< 1G, evading arrest/detention with a vehicle with previous conviction, and unauthorized use of a vehicle. 

Sponsler has a bond of $18,000 and is currently in the Angelina County Jail. 

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