Police car thief admits he was drunk

June 18, 1993

A 26-year-old Southern Maryland man who stole a police car last December and led police on a seven-mile chase pleaded guilty yesterday to drunken driving and theft charges in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court.

Andrew Eugene Elgin, of the 700 block of Farmington Road West, in Accokeek, admitted that he was drunk when he jumped behind the wheel of an idling police cruiser in the parking lot of the Southgate Apartments about 2 a.m. Dec. 19, and that he drove recklessly as he led police on a chase down Veterans Highway.

Judge Raymond G. Thieme Jr. set sentencing for Aug. 13.

Police said officers were called to the apartment complex, in the 300 block of Highland Drive in Glen Burnie, to check on a report that a disorderly man was banging on doors.

When they approached Elgin, he said he was looking for his brother, whom he thought lived in the complex, said Assistant State's Attorney Warren W. Davis III.

The officers said they sent Elgin on his way, but as he was walking away from them he jumped into an idling cruiser in the driveway and sped off.

Officer Dennis Matteo chased him in another police car, catching up about a half-mile away.

The cruiser driven by Elgin lurched from one curb to another. At one point, Elgin aimed the car at Officer Matteo, who leap onto the trunk of his cruiser to get away.

Elgin was arrested after crashing the cruiser into a guardrail on Veterans Highway. He was treated at North Arundel Hospital for minor injuries.

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