Handcuffed woman escapes police, steals patrol car

Suspect manipulated handcuffs and escaped from backseat of patrol car, police said

Rebecca Payne, 25, is accused of manipulating her handcuffs and driving off with a Salem police patrol car, February 14, 2017. (Salem PD)

SALEM, Ore. (KOIN) — A Salem woman arrested on a parole violation Tuesday stole a patrol car and crashed before being taken back into custody, police said.

Rebecca Payne, 25, allegedly stole a patrol car and crashed it in a Salem neighborhood, February 14, 2017. (Salem PD)
Rebecca Payne, 25, allegedly stole a patrol car and crashed it in a Salem neighborhood, February 14, 2017. (Salem PD)

Rebecca Payne, 25, had a warrant out for her arrest when officers first took her into custody at a motel on Hawthorne Avenue NE around 3:15 p.m., Salem Police Dept. said.

As she was being arrested, police said Payne complained that she was in severe physical pain. Officers tried to make her as comfortable as possible by modifying her handcuffs and opening windows in the patrol car she was put in.

But while officers were talking to other people at the scene, Payne managed to manipulate her handcuffs and escape from the backseat of the patrol car, police said. She reportedly got into the driver’s seat and drove the car away.

Police chased after her for a short time but stopped out of concern for public safety because she was allegedly driving erratically. Officers were still able to track the patrol car and follow “in a safe manner,” police said.

Rebecca Payne, 25, allegedly stole a patrol car and crashed it in a Salem neighborhood, February 14, 2017. (Salem PD)
Rebecca Payne, 25, allegedly stole a patrol car and crashed it in a Salem neighborhood, February 14, 2017. (Salem PD)

Payne then crashed into landscaping materials at Sunnyview Road NE and Childs Avenue NE. A police K9 reportedly found her hiding somewhere in the area.

She was taken back into custody without further incident and arrested on charges of unauthorized use of a motor vehicle, attempting to elude an officer, reckless driving, recklessly endangering another person, criminal mischief and escape.

No one was injured during the incident, police said, but the patrol car was damaged.