Two best friends have been credited with helping police catch an alleged thief after she nearly crashed into them on a Sunshine Coast street.
Police allege Rachael Paterson, 51, was behind the wheel of a Hilux and was wanted for stealing and other property offences when she sped through Caboolture.
Police helicopters were tracking the 51-year-old’s movements when she allegedly side-swiped a Mazda and fled the scene.
Crystal Kondor and Breanah Chessells were inside the Mazda.
The pair said they were forced to swerve, colliding with another vehicle as they tried to avoid a head-on crash with the Hilux.
“I was about halfway through the intersection and I’ve looked right and I’ve seen this four-wheel drive coming at me, felt like 80km/h,” Chessells said.
“There were kids in that car we hit.”
The pair were left injured and confused after the crash, but immediately leapt into action, tracking Paterson for more than five minutes until police arrived.
“She doesn’t stop, so I was like I can’t let you get away with this,” Chessells said.
Even if police hadn’t arrived, Chessells said she wouldn’t have let the woman escape.
“I would have tackled her to the ground and held her there and told her [Kondor] to call the police,” she said.
Paterson was denied bail and remanded in custody after appearing in Caboolture court.
The court heard she poses a serious risk to the community if released.
Chessells said her car had been seized by police, leaving her unable to get to work or drive her child to school.
“I just didn’t want her to get away with it because she ruined my life,” Chessells said.
“It was really traumatising.”