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Woman Allegedly Took N.C. Police Cruiser for Joyride

An apparent joyride in a city police car has landed a Mount Airy woman in the Surry County Jail under a $50,000 secured bond.

Charges against Christy Lynn Sawyers, 31, of 410 Broad St., were announced this week by the Mount Airy Police Department, stemming from an incident last Thursday at Granite Town Centre on South Andy Griffith Parkway.

Sawyers allegedly drove off in the 2012 Dodge Charger, which was found about 30 minutes later on the other side of town. She was arrested on North Main Street a short distance away and remained jailed Wednesday afternoon on two felony charges, larceny of a motor vehicle and possession of stolen property.

The case originated from an earlier crime reported at a business in Granite Town Centre, which includes the Lowe's hardware store, Food Lion and several other commercial operations.

"What happened was an officer was doing a follow-up investigation of a larceny," Police Chief Dale Watson explained Wednesday.

Officer Todd Bledsoe had located property believed to have been stolen in the earlier incident and returned to the shopping center to verify that, the chief continued. When he arrived, the parking area was full, so Bledsoe stopped near the front of the unnamed business.

"He just went in momentarily," Watson said. "He left the vehicle running and thought he had left the vehicle locked."

Sawyers allegedly drove off in the Dodge Charger about a minute after it was parked by Bledsoe, police records show. "This individual found it unsecured and got in it," Watson said.

Fortunately, he added, some onlookers saw what happened, realized it was suspicious and were able to maintain visual contact of the police car after it left the scene. "I think we had a total of three citizens," Watson said, praising their "quick actions" for a positive outcome.

Sawyers allegedly left the vehicle in the parking lot of Ollie's Bargain Outlet on North Renfro Street.

"We were able to locate the vehicle undamaged," Watson said of the $40,000 Dodge Charger.

Sawyers, who began walking north from Ollie's after allegedly leaving the car there, was located in the parking area of Spencer Funeral Home on North Main Street and arrested by Sgt. B.L. Quensinberry after a brief investigation.

Police believe Sawyers likely realized the gravity of the situation in deciding to abandon the vehicle at Ollie's -- but that is only speculation at this point.

"She denied any involvement," Watson said of the car theft.

Sawyers is scheduled to appear in Surry District Court on June 12.

Copyright 2013 - The Mount Airy News, N.C.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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