A 17-year-old girl has admitted stealing a police car and crashing it into a street sign, two fences and a parked car that shunted into two more cars.
Lexus Alicia Rosemary Nelson was drunk when she took an opportunity on December 28 while alone in a police car to climb into the front seat, lock the doors and speed off.
The unlicensed Rotorua teen appeared in the Rotorua District Court today when she pleaded guilty to five charges.
She told police she took the patrol car to distract officers who were dealing with her male associate, who was not co-operating with police.
Nelson pleaded guilty to unlawfully taking a motor vehicle, careless driving, driving while prohibited and driving with excess blood alcohol. She also pleaded guilty to an unrelated burglary charge.
A police summary of facts released to the Rotorua Daily Post said police picked up Nelson and a male associate on December 28 about 12.25am from a house on Spinel Pl. Police intended to take the pair home to family.
The man did not co-operate with police throughout the trip.
Police stopped the car on Gem St and tried to speak with him but the heavily intoxicated man continued in the same manner, the summary said.
While police were outside the car, Nelson locked the doors and got behind the wheel and drove at speed towards Clayton Rd.
She drove over a speed hump and the car left the road and mounted the footpath where it hit a school sign, causing significant damage to the vehicle and sign.
She then lost control, crossing the centre of the road and going onto the kerb on the opposite side.
She sped through two residential fences and crashed into a Honda car parked in a driveway.
The Honda was pushed into two other cars in an enclosed garage, causing significant damage to all vehicles.
Nelson ran from the police car and police found her hiding behind a house on Spinel Pl.
Blood tests showed she had 98mg of alcohol per 100ml of blood. The legal limit is 50mg.
Nelson's lawyer, Dafydd Malcolm, told Judge Phillip Cooper his client was now under the wing of a local refuge, which was ensuring she was being kept busy and out of trouble.
Malcolm asked her bail continue until she was sentenced.
The judge agreed and remanded her on bail until March 23.
It is the second time in three months a teen has stolen a police car in the region.
Maaki Te Kuirau Emery, 18, is in custody and will be sentenced next Tuesday. He admitted dangerous driving and escaping police custody after stealing a police car in Murupara on October 17.