Woman arrested after stealing news van with reporter inside, police say

ATLANTA — Atlanta police say they have arrested a woman for stealing a news van with a reporter inside.

It happened around 6 a.m. in Midtown Atlanta.

Atlanta Officer Steve Avery said police and a CBS46 WGCL-TV news reporter and photographer were investigating a car crash at 270 17th Street in northwest Atlanta when the crime happened.

When the photographer got out of the van to set up his camera, police said 38-year-old Seniqua Lunsford, who involved in the original crash, jumped into the news van and drove away.

CBS reporter Iyani Hughes was still in the back of the van editing video when it all happened. As soon as she noticed what was going on, police said Hughes shouted for help.

Officers got into their cars and followed the stolen van.

Channel 2′s Tom Regan was at the scene and talked to Avery.

“The reporter inside tried to make the woman stop, and pull over the suspect wouldn’t do that," Avery said. "So she did the smart thing, got into her seat and put her seat belt on. The vehicle continued to this location where it crashed..”

The van crashed near 250 The Prado. Hughes, who is pregnant, was thankfully not hurt.

Police arrested Lunsford, who was also pregnant. She was taken to the hospital with an injured arm. It’s unclear if the injury was from the first or second crash.

Officers said Lunsford was acting strange at the scene.

“They don’t know if she is emotionally disturbed or on intoxicants, drugs, something like that," Avery said. “That hasn’t been determined yet.”

Police said Lunsford will be charged with at least kidnapping. Other charges are likely.

Avery said the incident underscores the importance of keeping doors locked if someone is inside of a running vehicle with no one in the driver’s seat.

“Get a second key, so at the very least you can lock your door," Avery said. "It happens so fast, and this could have been tragic.”

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