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Machete-wielding woman charged after allegedly taking taxi on multi-city ride in B.C.

A Victoria police van in an undated photo from the Victoria Police Department Twitter account. (VicPD/Twitter) A Victoria police van in an undated photo from the Victoria Police Department Twitter account. (VicPD/Twitter)

A Vancouver Island woman is facing multiple charges after allegedly brandishing a machete and taking a taxicab on a multi-city ride across Greater Victoria after the driver asked her to pay her fare.

Samantha Ann Ethel McDonald, born in 1994, was charged Tuesday with robbery, possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose, and assaulting a peace officer causing bodily harm, after three police departments in the region worked to track down the stolen taxi over the weekend.

The incident began just before 11:30 p.m. Friday, when a taxi driver in downtown Victoria reported his car was stolen by a woman wielding a machete.

Victoria police investigators say the woman had initially requested a ride to several locations, but when the driver asked her to pay for the ride, she threatened the driver with the knife and then drove off with the cab, leaving him on the sidewalk near Johnson and Wharf streets.

Police monitored the cab's location as it headed into neighbouring Saanich, where officers tried unsuccessfully to stop the vehicle, authorities said.

"Saanich police officers did not pursue the taxi due to the risk a high-speed chase could have to the public," a statement from the Victoria Police Department said.

Officers continued to track the stolen cab as it traveled to the West Shore, where Mounties used a spike belt to finally stop the vehicle.

The suspect was arrested and remains in police custody Tuesday.

"Incidents like this threaten our collective sense of security, but the citizens of our communities should feel confident that their police departments are working together to keep them safe," Jason Laidman, deputy chief of the Victoria Police Department, said in the statement.

"I'm proud of the quick response and ongoing co-ordination from our officers in using all the resources available to them to maintain control of the situation and ensure this suspect was taken into custody," he added.

West Shore RCMP detachment Insp. Stephen Rose commended his officers for their actions in bringing the pursuit to a halt.

"Our officers were able to stop the stolen vehicle and take the suspect into custody, thereby preventing them from inflicting further harm to our communities," he said.

Police in Victoria are investigating the robbery and weapon-related charge, while police in Saanich and the West Shore are investigating alleged driving offences, the statement said.

The alleged assault on a peace officer occurred the following day, according to court records, though it is unclear if the charge stems from an incident before or after the suspect was in custody.

Victoria police said no further information about the incident would be shared now that the matter is before the courts. Top Stories

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