REVEALED: Convicted thief, 52, 'who bought an RV with a stolen ID' and led cops on a high-speed chase, hitting six cars and driving so recklessly that one of her two dogs jumped from the camper
- The DUI suspect who launched wild police chase in an RV on Tuesday has been identified as Julie Ann Rainbird, 52, of Winnetka
- Simi Valley police say the RV was purchased using a stolen identity in Downey
- An LA woman reported her identity was stolen on April 30, which led police to the Santa Clarita lot where Rainbird was found in the RV
- On Tuesday at 7pm authorities approached the camper
- Rainbird frantically sped away, smashing into at least six cars and a palm tree before coming to halt and running on foot
- She drove so wildly one of her two dogs leaped out of the camper
- Three people, including the driver, were sent to the hospital
- Rainbird was booked into jail on $100,000 bail for possible evasion, hit-and-run and assault charges
- She was previously convicted of identity theft in January 2015
The identity of the woman who launched a wild police chase smashing into at least six cars while speeding at 60mph in a RV on Tuesday night has been revealed.
The California Highway Patrol identified the DUI suspect as Julie Ann Rainbird, 52, of Winnetka on Wednesday.
The Sheriff's department clarified Wednesday that the RV was not stolen, but rather it was purchased using a stolen identity in Downey, California, according to Cmdr. Ritchie Lew of the Simi Valley Police Department. It's not clear when the RV was purchased or if Rainbird was living in the vehicle prior to the chase.
An LA woman reported her identity information was stolen on April 30, after it was used to purchase a motorcycle in Simi Valley.
Following that identity information, cops were led to the Santa Clarita area near Los Angeles around 7pm Tuesday, triggering the chase during which one of Rainbird's dogs escaped by tumbling out of the broken front window.
Rainbird was previously convicted in Los Angeles County of identity theft in January 2015. According to social media, the suspect said she owned a motorhome in 2018 but claims it was stolen.
Rainbird was booked into jail on $100,000 bail for possible evasion, hit-and-run and assault charges. Investigators say this may be a DUI case and the suspect was wanted on two unspecified warrants.
Julie Ann Rainbird, 52, of Winnetka, has been identified as the DUI suspect who launched wild police chase in a RV on Tuesday, crashing into at least six cars
Rainbird (pictured above with her dog) is believed to have purchased the RV using a stolen identity. Authorities approached the Giant RV parked in Santa Clarita on Tuesday after an LA woman reported that her identity information was stolen from Downey, California
She drove so wildly that one of her two dogs (pictured above on her Facebook page) jumped out of the broken front window to escape the havoc
Rainbird also has convictions for trespassing and possession of methamphetamine, according to NBC.
The investigation is ongoing.
Three people, including Rainbird, were taken to the hospital with minor injuries from the chase.
The 30-minute pursuit began in Santa Clarita, just north of L.A., when the RV failed to yield for the California Highway Patrol at 7pm and began to weave in and out of traffic at 60mph, hitting cars as she went.
She drove so recklessly that one of her two dogs leaped out of the broken front window and onto the road.
Pictured above on Facebook on her wedding day in August 2017. According to social media they're separated
On her social media she shared this post in 2018, claiming that her motor home was stolen in California
Court records show Rainbird was previously convicted in Los Angeles County of identity theft in January 2015. She also has convictions for trespassing and possession of methamphetamine
A TV news helicopter followed the chase for almost half an hour as it sped through residential streets and along a highway.
Video showed the RV careening at speeds of up to 60mph from Santa Clarita into the San Fernando Valley. The driver was seen behind the wheel with two dogs in her lap.
The RV hit several cars and a palm tree in a shopping mall parking lot that tore off the passenger-side door and wrecked the front end, leaving the windshield dangling on the hood.
A woman driving a RV led police on a wild 60mph chase through the streets of Santa Clarita, near Los Angeles in Southern California on Tuesday evening
She recklessly drove the RV, smashing into at least six cars and a palm tree that ripped the passenger-side door off of the camper and dented in the hood of the vehicle
She drove so dangerously that her petrified dog crawled through the front window of the car and jumped out, tumbling on the road
The dog that jumped out pictured walking towards the sidewalk, away from the trailer
After her first dog jumped out, she clung on to her second dog (above) who tried to follow the other and jump out of the front window. Her hand could be seen holding onto her dog as it tried desperately to leap out
The motor home suffered heavy damage to its hood and right side, and was left with its windshield hanging on its hinges and right door ripped off
The RV was seen careening at speeds of up to 60mph from Santa Clarita into the San Fernando Valley
At one point, a large dog in the driver's lap scrambled halfway out of the shattered windshield area and jumped from the moving vehicle, landing in a tumble on the road.
The RV stopped for a moment, but the dog got up and appeared unharmed as it ran to the curb.
The chase continued and another dog was seen dangling from the window.
The driver held on to the back of the petrified dog, as it too tried to escape the camper.
The driver eventually lost control of the vehicle, which was falling apart as it was traveling.
It rear-ended another car at high speed in the upscale residential Tarzana neighborhood, plowed into some trees and came to a halt at 7.35pm.
The woman was seen crashing into trees and driving at high speeds, evading police
The wild and reckless driver led authorities on the high-speed chase through the San Fernando Valley that began in the Santa Clarita area just before 7pm
The RV plowed into this black car, leaving debris and shrapnel in its wake. The black car was hit so hard it spun around and its hood was ripped off
The RV crashed into numerous vehicles on its journey through the north L.A. suburb. A heavily damaged black car that the suspect plowed into pictured above
After crashing into a white sedan the trailer finally stopped while on a sidewalk
The driver then ran out of her car with her dog following in tow until highway patrol officers got to her
Eventually the female driver lost control of the vehicle and both she and her dog tried to make a run for it but were quickly tackled by authorities
The final resting place of the stolen RV driven by Julie Rainbird in yesterdays police pursuit which started in Simi Valley and ended in this crash site into a property in Tarzana
The debris left from the camper pictured above in Tarzana, California
After the trailer stopped moving, the suspect jumped out of the camper with her dog hobbling behind her, as they tried to make their getaway on foot.
She was soon caught by a pair of police officers who took the female driver into custody.
The suspect and one driver she hit were both taken away in ambulances. There was no immediate word on their conditions.
According to CBS2 both dogs are safe and in the custody of Animal Control with non life-threatening injuries.
In total, Rainbird reportedly hit at least six cars and three people were hospitalized because of the chase.
The details behind how Rainbird got the RV and whether it functioned as her home are not yet clear.
However, California boasts a large population of people that live in RVs, particularly in the areas around Los Angeles and San Francisco. Many of the RV dwellers are homeless as a result of the stark socioeconomic disparities in the state.
California is home to a 12 percent of the U.S. population but holds a disproportionate amount of the nation's homeless at 22 percent.
Google's upscale Mountain Valley headquarters near San Francisco is the latest area to crack down and ban trailers, after the camps of the mobile homes have appeared due to soaring housing costs.
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