Mug shot: Woman takes over police radio while being chased in stolen Baytown police SUV, HPD says

Sara Garrett (Baytown Police Department, Baytown Police Department)

HOUSTON – Houston police said a woman stole a marked Baytown Police Department SUV Monday -- and while being chased by authorities -- she spoke with dispatchers using the radio inside the patrol vehicle.

Houston police said the woman, 19-year-old Pasadena woman Sara Garrett, was charged with auto theft and felony evading arrest in a motor vehicle.

Garrett managed to get the vehicle, a Chevrolet Tahoe, from a Baytown police officer who was working an extra job at Houston Methodist Baytown Hospital. The woman was at the hospital after being taken in an ambulance for being under the influence of drugs, police said. When she was discharged, she saw the vehicle, was able to make entry and drove off around 8:30 p.m.. She then started talking on the radio unintelligibly and dispatchers learned which vehicle had been taken. Baytown police said a supervisor attempted to build rapport to no avail.

The officer, hearing it was the vehicle he was in, came out of the hospital and learned his vehicle was gone, and using surveillance footage, confirmed the woman had taken it, police said.

After notifying other departments that the vehicle had been taken, HPD said officers went to where they believed she has family to see if they could find her and found the vehicle in the area with its emergency outside lights on. Baytown police said the vehicle was spotted traveling north on Interstate 45 near Airtex by a Houston Police officer at 11:18 p.m. Houston police officers tried to make a stop, but she refused, and a pursuit ensued.

HPD said the woman drove northbound on the North Freeway reaching speeds up to 100 miles per hour. That’s when Houston police said she turned off the outside emergency lights and was talking on the radio in the vehicle.

She exited off of Sawdust Road and made a U-turn heading southbound on the North Freeway service road. HPD officers attempted to make a PIT maneuver but speeds were too slow, and the maneuver failed to stop her. Police said she eventually stopped on her own in the 24000 block of North Freeway at Sawdust Road and HPD officers were able to take her into custody around 11:30 p.m.

Police said no one was hurt.

Garrett was transported to the Baytown Municipal Jail and booked for auto theft. HPD charged Garrett with felony evading arrest in a motor vehicle. The SUV had minor damage to the rear bumper from the traffic stop.

About the Author:

Amanda Cochran is an Edward R. Murrow award-winning journalist. She specializes in Texas features, consumer and business news and local crime coverage.