A 42-year-old woman is facing charges after allegedly stealing a police car and then crashing it in Christchurch.
The police were alerted to a reportedly intoxicated person attempting to drive on Wainoni Road in the suburb of Avondale, at about 7.10pm on Saturday.
Canterbury District Commander John Price said when an officer arrived, the woman refused a breath test and was put in the back of a police car.
"As the officer walked around to the driver's door, the woman climbed into the front and stole the vehicle. She has then collided with several parked cars before coming to a stop moments later," Price said.
He said she was apprehended within "a matter of seconds" after the car was taken.
Price said the police car received "considerable damage" and was towed from the scene.
There were no reported injuries, he said.
The woman is due to appear in the Christchurch District Court on Friday, charged with driving in a dangerous manner, unlawfully taking a motor vehicle and escaping from police custody.