Woman steals SF taxi, flees police and crashes into another car

Sometimes you really just can’t wait to hail a cab.

So it was with one woman Tuesday night, who allegedly stole a Yellow Cab taxi and crashed into another car after she was stopped by San Francisco Police Department officers.

The incident was confirmed by Yellow Cab and SFPD.

“We just have been able to look at the video,” said Paul Gillespie, general manager at Yellow Cab.

Gillespie said a cabbie was dropping off an elderly woman on Eddy Street, when exited his taxi to help her with her bags.

That’s when a woman jumped in, “sped away, and went up Market Street,” Gillespie said.

Yellow Cab’s dispatchers followed the cab’s GPS and helped SFPD officers follow it block by block, he said.

SFPD spokesperson Officer Giselle Talkoff said responding officers got the call at about 10 p.m. When officers caught up to the vehicle, they pulled her over.

“The driver of the vehicle exited,” Talkoff said, but “upon trying to detain the driver she entered the vehicle and took off.”

It wasn’t technically a pursuit, Talkoff said, because the alleged taxi-jacker, a 47-year-old woman, initially complied with police orders to pull over. When she sped off, officers hadn’t even started their engine before the taxi collided with another vehicle on the road.

One tipster, who sent photos of the incident but asked not to be named, told the San Francisco Examiner, “I turned around to see the taxi speed off, then heard a loud crash and tires screeching.”

The aftermath of the taxi’s crash at Market and Laguna streets was depicted in the photos and included the crumpled front and left side of the taxi, and a crumpled side of the car the taxi hit.

Minor injuries were reported by both the alleged taxi-jacker and the driver of the other vehicle, said Talkoff, and the second driver was taken to a hospital in an ambulance with non-life threatening injuries.

The cab was “undrivable,” Gillespie said, and had to be towed in afterward.

“This is the business we’re in,” he said. “I wake up every morning wondering what’s next.”

Earlier this week, the Examiner reported that Yellow Cab — San Francisco’s biggest taxi company — is for sale. Lawsuits from a number of collisions bled the company by millions of dollars, which was further hampered by competition from Uber and Lyft, according to bankruptcy filings.

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