Credit: News 12 Long Island

A Bayport man has been arrested for stealing a marked Suffolk County police cruiser that was parked with keys in the ignition while an officer was chasing the suspect Tuesday afternoon in Bay Shore, police said.

Suffolk police said the Third Precinct cruiser was stolen shortly after noon as an officer was responding to a 911 call reporting “suspicious individuals” in a parked car on Ackerson Boulevard.

One of the car’s occupants fled on foot “while the officer was awaiting back-up,” police said in an emailed statement. Police said the keys were left in the ignition as the officer pursued the suspect on foot, “but the individual circled back” to where the police car was parked, got in and drove off.

Police said the car “ultimately crashed” into a wooded area off the southbound lanes of the Sagtikos Parkway, about 2 miles from where the vehicle had been stolen.

Tayawon Anderson, 20, of Terrace Road, was arrested at the crash scene and charged with third-degree grand larceny and reckless endangerment. Anderson was taken to a hospital where he was being treated for non-life-threatening injuries, police said.

According to the statement, “The crash only involved the police car which had keys in the ignition.”

The investigation is continuing, though no further details were available about any of the other occupants of the car. Police ask that anyone with information on this incident contact CrimeStoppers at 1-800-220-TIPS.

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