Nearly Nude High-Speed Chase Leads to Arrest

Bryce Gruber

Just when you thought Florida couldn't get any weirder.

Rachael Stefancich, a 24-year old woman, was arrested this week after allegedly leading police on a high-speed chase in a stolen car in Hernando County, Florida. The kicker? She was nearly naked.

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Florida naked car thiefFlorida State Troopers

The speed demon was speeding on Saturday morning when a state trooper tried to pull her over along I-75 in Hernando County, WFLA reported citing Florida Highway Patrol reports. But Rachael didn't just pull over as an ordinary driver might have— she fled, and fast, allegedly hitting speeds of 100 miles per hour or greater in the stolen Cadillac sedan she was cruising along I-75 in.

Stefancich actually made it all the way to State Road 52 before local and state authorities managed to stop the stolen Cadillac by way of PIT, also known as Pursuit Intervention Technique, according to the police report.

The PIT maneuver (pursuit intervention technique) or TVI (tactical vehicle intervention) is a pursuit tactic by which a pursuing car can force a fleeing car to turn sideways abruptly, causing the driver to lose control and stop. Other names include pit block, pit stop, and blocking."

By the time Highway Patrol managed to pull Stefancich over, law enforcement found her somewhat unclad with official reports citing "nearly fully unclothed," as her condition upon arrest. It's not the first time Florida has charged naked locals with crimes either, with some famous recent cases including the arrest of New York's Naked Cowboy while performing at Bike Week in Daytona Beach, and this half-naked Miami-area man found sleeping behind a school dumpster.

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Rachael StefancichHillsborough County Sheriff's Office

Rachael Stefancich of Plant City, Florida (a city in Hillsborough County) was charged with grand theft auto, reckless driving, fleeing & eluding, possession of methamphetamine and driving while license suspended, authorities said. Stefancich was then charged with grand theft auto, reckless driving, fleeing and eluding, possession of methamphetamine, and driving while license suspended, authorities said.

According to a National Drug Intelligence Center (NDIC) Florida Drug Threat Assessment in 2003, rural meth labs were a major cause for concern at the time. A lot of the meth in the state was produced domestically, particularly in Central Florida and Polk County. Meth availability and abuse was rampant across Central and North Florida, especially in rural areas."

Under Florida state law, public nudity is typically a misdemeanor offense. And officers must obtain a warrant before making an arrest unless they witnessed the crime in person, but it seems like Rachael's reckless driving, car theft, possession of drugs, and driving with a suspended license were already enough to seal the arrest deal.

Florida House Bill 675 was passed in October of 2020 making public nudity illegal, and states, "Exposure of Sexual Organs; Increases criminal penalties for exposure of sexual organs for second or subsequent offense; authorizes warrantless arrests when law enforcement officer has probable cause to believe that person has unlawfully exposures sexual organs."

Sounds about Florida, right?

Have your own weird Florida crime story to tell? We'd love to hear your feedback and thoughts in the comments section below.

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Bryce Gruber covers women's lifestyle content and news ranging from shopping to travel, beauty to parenting, wellness and delicious eating. Find her at @brycegruber on social media, and across a variety of women's lifestyle and parenting topics at TheLuxurySpot.com, Readers' Digest, Bravo, Parents.com, Martha Stewart, and on your TV screen through national talk shows including The Tamron Hall Show. She lives and works in New York's Hudson Valley with her five small children.

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