A man is in custody after stealing a marked Mission RCMP police car early Friday morning.

According to Mission RCMP, a man standing next to a broken down vehicle on the side of Highway 7 near 287 Street flagged down a police officer around 2:30 a.m. PT. 

When the officer pulled in behind the vehicle and got out of the car, the man, who appeared to be in his 40s, suddenly got into the police vehicle and took off.

"The passenger approached the officer and said they had a flat tire, so when the officer went and talked to the driver of the disabled vehicle, that passenger jumped into the police car and drove it away," said Staff Sgt. Steve Crawford.

MissionRCMPcar

Crawford said there was no pursuit, because police were able to track the vehicle and set up a spike belt. (Ryan Stelting)

No pursuit necessary

Crawford said they did not pursue the man because police were able to track the vehicle and set up a spike belt.

When the driver drove over the spike belt, which flattened the car's tires, he fled on foot, but was soon apprehended by a dog team.

Crawford said the suspect is currently in custody and waiting to appear in court. No motive for the theft is currently known.

He said that nothing was stolen from the police car, and that the man "essentially drove in a circle."

"It's a rarity, there's really no defence to it," he said.

"I can't expect my officers to lock their doors when they get out of a police car because by the same token they may need to get back into that police car in a hurry."

With files from Natasha Frakes