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Woman allegedly steals police cruiser in Malden; State Police arrest her in Boston after pursuit

A 38-year-old woman allegedly stole a Malden police cruiser from that city late Tuesday and drove it into Boston where she was arrested, according to authorities and legal filings.

The details were laid out in a State Police report filed in the case against Renelle M. Sonia, of Malden. She was arraigned Wednesday in Roxbury Municipal Court on charges of receiving a stole motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, and negligent operation of a motor vehicle, according to court records.

A not guilty plea was entered for Sonia, who was ordered to undergo an evaluation at Worcester Recovery Center and Hospital to determine her competency to stand trial, legal filings show. Her next hearing is scheduled for June 27. Sonia’s lawyer couldn’t be reached for comment.


The State Police report said troopers were alerted at 11:52 p.m. Tuesday that a Malden police cruiser had been spotted operating erratically on Interstate 93 south, sputtering past Exit 20 at a clip of 20 m.p.h. with no headlights on.

Malden police confirmed their cruiser had been stolen, the report said, and a trooper spotted the cruiser exiting the O’Neil Tunnel on the southbound side of the interstate. The cruiser failed to stop for State Police and instead took Exit 14 onto Columbia Road in Dorchester, the report stated.

The stolen cruiser headed toward Mass. Ave. and came to a stop at the intersection of Mass. Ave. and Shirley Street, according to the report.

Sonia was taken into custody, and during the booking process she said, “I just beat the FBI,” and also said “I was in a torture chamber” while repeatedly asking if she could have the cruiser back. Sonia told police she initially spotted the police car with its window down and keys in the ignition before stealing it, according to the filing.


Also during the booking process, the report said, Sonia asked to be evaluated by Boston EMS personnel due to “her current mental status.”

David Procopio, a State Police spokesman, said via email email that Malden police shortly before midnight issued a BOLO, or be-on-the-lookout advisory, for one of their cruisers that had been stolen.

“A few minutes later the cruiser was spotted on the Zakim Bridge operating erratically,” Procopio said. “An MSP Trooper located the stolen cruiser on Rt 93 South by Mass Ave. and attempted to conduct a stop. The suspect refused to stop and a pursuit was authorized by Troop H Headquarters.”

Procopio said the “driver of the stolen cruiser stopped at Victoria’s Diner located at 1024 Mass Ave in Boston,” adding that Sonia was taken into custody on scene. No one was hurt and no vehicles were damaged.

Travis Andersen can be reached at travis.andersen@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @TAGlobe. Matt Yan can be reached at matt.yan@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @matt_yan12.