On February 16, 2022, at approximately 1:00 p.m., a Missoula County Sheriff’s Office deputy learned that a stolen Honda Ridgeline was heading towards Missoula from Polson. The owner of the vehicle was tracking it on an app on his phone. The deputy soon located the vehicle on Highway 83 N. near Condon, but lost sight of the vehicle when he turned around.

A short time later, a MCSO sergeant located the vehicle just north of Seeley Lake, but then he lost it too. The deputy quickly responded to the area and located the vehicle again. He activated his overhead lights, but the vehicle drove off at a high rate of speed. The deputy noted that he accelerated to between 90-100 miles per hour trying to catch up to the vehicle, but could not.

As the deputy approached Seeley Lake, he observed the vehicle speed by the sergeant, who was attempting to utilize stop sticks. However, the vehicle missed the stop sticks and continued toward Seeley Lake at a high rate of speed.

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Eventually, the vehicle turned onto Seeley Lane and stopped. The driver, identified as 43-year-old Stephnie Fister, exited the vehicle and fled on foot. After a brief pursuit, law enforcement caught her and took her into custody. While walking back to the patrol vehicles, Fister spontaneously stated, “The car was parked in the Walmart parking lot and left running, so I took it.”

According to court documents, the deputy spoke with the sergeant and learned that the sergeant was nearly hit by the vehicle during the pursuit. He also noted that Fister’s driver’s license is suspended.

Fister is currently being charged with felony criminal endangerment, felony theft, fleeing from or eluding a peace officer, and driving with a suspended license. Her bail was set at $10,000. As of Monday afternoon, Fister remained in custody at the Missoula County Detention Center.

The information in this article was obtained from sources that are publicly viewable.

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