HERNANDO COUNTY – A 24-year-old woman with a Plant City residential address was arrested today (Saturday, May 22) for grand theft auto, reckless driving, fleeing and eluding, possession of methamphetamine and driving while license suspended, according to information in a Florida Highway Patrol press release
The suspect was only partially clothed when caught, and she outran troopers during a pursuit that went through a few counties, the FHP said.
Florida Highway Patrol Sgt. Steve Gaskins noted that Rachael Lynn Stefancich, 24, of Plant City (Hillsborough County) was “nearly fully unclothed” when troopers caught her in Hernando County, after a chase that started from an alert issued in Gilchrist County.
On Saturday, May 22, at just after 10 a.m., the Gilchrist County Sheriff’s Office issued an alert regarding a stolen vehicle traveling southbound on I-75 in Sumter County, Sgt. Gaskins noted.
FHP troopers located the 2009 Cadillac sedan near the 307 milepost and attempted a traffic stop near the 300 milepost in Hernando County, he said.
Immediately the vehicle fled from troopers and reached speeds in excess of 110 m.p.h. while changing lanes and passing on the roadway shoulder, the FHP said.
At Exit 285 in Pasco County, the vehicle exited onto westbound State Road 52, the FHP said, where the pursuit concluded following the employment of a PIT maneuver, the FHP said.
A PIT (pursuit intervention technique) or TVI (tactical vehicle intervention) is a pursuit tactic by which a pursuing car can force a fleeing car to turn sideways abruptly, causing the driver to lose control and stop.
The suspected fleeing felon was delivered to the Hernando County Jail, the FHP said.