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Woman calls cops to say her car is stolen — as she speeds away from them, Iowa cops say

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Kevin Butler with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy's police pursuit training class demonstrates how police officers train to drive when responding to a call or during a pursuit.
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Kevin Butler with the South Carolina Criminal Justice Academy's police pursuit training class demonstrates how police officers train to drive when responding to a call or during a pursuit.

An Iowa woman apparently tried to trick the cops who were chasing her by calling 911 to report her car was stolen, Iowa police say.

It didn’t work.

The woman was driving 20 miles an hour over the speed limit when she sped by police Tuesday morning on Highway 30 in eastern Iowa, according to a Clinton County Sheriff’s Office news release. When a deputy tried to pull over her gray 1998 Buick Century, the woman ran a red light and sped away, police said.

Then she entered a business parking lot and turned around, heading in the other direction on the highway, police said.

During the chase, she called 911 to report her car was just stolen from a nearby small town, police said. The woman told the dispatcher that she left the keys in her Buick, and someone had taken it, according to the news release.

The woman then drove through the same town, running stop signs as she sped away from the cops, police said.

She continued the chase into another county and even drove over “stop sticks” laid out by another police department — but they didn’t stop her, according to the news release. Iowa state troopers put out another set of “stop sticks,” puncturing her tires and finally ending the chase almost an hour after it started, police said.

Rachel Thornburg, 20, was arrested at the scene. She was charged with eluding, speeding, reckless driving and driving with a suspended license, police said.

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Chacour Koop is a Real-Time reporter based in Kansas City. Previously, he reported for the Associated Press, Galveston County Daily News and Daily Herald in Chicago.
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