Salem woman arrested for stealing, crashing patrol car

Salem, Ore. – A Salem woman was arrested after police say she was able to manipulate her handcuffs and get behind the wheel of a police patrol car.

According to the Salem Police Department, officers contacted 25-year-old Rebecca June Payne at a Salem motel on Tuesday. She had valid warrants out for her arrest and was taken into custody.

Police said Payne was put inside the rear seat of the patrol car and began to complain about severe pain. In an attempt to alleviate her discomfort, officers rolled down the car’s windows and “modified the application of the handcuffs on her” while they interviewed other people at the scene.

Payne was able to manipulate the cuffs until she was able to escape the patrol vehicle, according to officers. She then exited the rear of the patrol car and got into the driver’s seat. She took off and led Salem officers in a short and erratic pursuit, which prompted police to keep their distance.

Officers said the vehicle crashed into a citizen’s yard a short distance away. Payne was located in the area with the assistance of a police K9 unit and taken into custody without further incident.

There were no injuries and the patrol car suffered minor damage. Payne was booked into the Marion County Correction Facility on multiple charges including unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, reckless driving and attempting to elude an officer.

Police said the incident is under investigation and further charges are possible.

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