A 25-year old Los Angeles man was unable to resist the temptation of a cop car parked with the keys in the ignition. He grabbed the Los Angeles Police Department cruiser and took off on a brief joy ride that ended when he slammed into a Starbucks coffee shop and a utility pole, totaling the car.
Two officers were conducting an investigation at Adams Boulevard and La Brea Avenue in the early hours of Friday morning, NBCLosAngeles.com reported, and had left the keys in their vehicle — common practice among police officers, according to LAPD Commander Andrew Smith. “Many officers leave their keys in the car so they can jump back in and get out of a situation quickly,” Smith told NBCLosAngeles.com. The suspect took off at high speed, despite the fact that officers did not pursue him.
“We’re unsure why he took the car,” Smith said, “whether it was a joy ride or what. Apparently he saw the police car there, the keys were in it, and he made a bad choice.” The suspect was the only person injured in the crash and was hospitalized in critical condition, according to NBCLosAngeles.com. When he gets out of the hospital, he will likely face grand theft auto charges among other counts.
“That was the most damage I’ve ever seen to a black-and-white police car in 24 years,” Smith told NBCLosAngeles.com. “That was an unbelievable scene of carnage. The engine was out, the transmission was in the road, and the hood was down street. The car was a complete and total wreck.”
According to the Los Angeles Times, the suspect lost both of his legs in the accident.