BY JASON KOTOWSKI Californian staff writer firstname.lastname@example.org
Rebecca Ann Springston was so pleased with the 2007 silver Mazda6 she took for a test drive Wednesday she decided not to bother with the paperwork. Police say the 28-year-old instead pulled a knife and gun, and ordered the dealership employee out of the car.
Springston was arrested after a chase during which Bakersfield police say she tried carjacking a second vehicle and nearly collided with a police cruiser. She's being held on $250,000 bail on suspicion of crimes including carjacking and assault on a peace officer.
Springston, of Lake Isabella, arrived at Smart Auto Dealership on Oak Street Wednesday afternoon before 4 p.m. She and an employee went on a test drive in which she pulled a knife and told the employee to get out.
The employee stayed in his seat as Springston drove to Beach Park. Police said she again told the victim to get out of the car, and this time brandished a silver revolver. The employee got out.
Police were contacted about the carjacking. At 4:46 p.m. another report came in, this time of a possibly intoxicated woman driving a silver Mazda who almost collided with a vehicle on Highway 178.
The caller followed the Mazda, which stopped at a Chevron gas station near Highway 178 and Morning Drive. Police said the Mazda left before officers arrived, but the caller continued to follow it and updated officers on its location.
Police found the vehicle traveling east on Highway 178 at 4:56 p.m. They tried stopping the Mazda near Miramonte Road.
Springston, however, refused to stop. Police said she continued driving east and officers stopped their pursuit as she entered the canyon.
They followed a short time later and were flagged down by people who said the driver of a silver Mazda had tried to steal their vehicle, police said. Springston, meanwhile, had reversed directions, and was traveling westbound in the canyon. Again, she nearly hit a patrol vehicle and refused to stop.
Springston left the canyon and continued driving for another 20 minutes during which police said she "gave no regard for the safety of other motorists. She finally stopped on Highway 58 near Hart Flat Road and was arrested.
In addition to carjacking and felony assault on a police officer, she also was booked on suspicion of carjacking, attempted carjacking, felony evading and other counts.
An officer found narcotics on Springston at the jail, police said.
Smart Auto Dealership employees declined comment.
Anyone with information about this incident is asked to call the Bakersfield Police Department at 327-7111.