Woman uses test drive as get-away car in attempted robbery

Police say Gail Castle, center, was on a test drive when she attempted to rob a northern California bank. (Photo: KTXL)

Police say Gail Castle, center, was on a test drive when she attempted to rob a northern California bank. (Photo: KTXL)

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MANTECA, Calif. — When a man selling a 1987 Chrysler 5th Avenue with 64,000 miles on it for $2,200 agreed to ride along with a potential buyer on a test drive, he had no idea he was in for the ride of his life.

According to KTXL, it all began when the woman, later identified as Gail Castle, asked the Manteca, Calif. native, who asked not to be identified, if she could take his car for a spin.

“She said ‘would you trust me to drive the car?'” the Manteca man said. “I said, ‘I wouldn’t trust you to back it out of the driveway.'”

They both got in the car, with the Manteca man taking the wheel. He thought it was going to be a short drive down the block. But he says Castle eventually asked him to take her to the bank, where she would get the cash to buy the car.

He did, taking Castle to the Bank of America in the small northern California city. The bank was crowded, so the man says he was surprised when Castle came out just a few minutes later, flashing him a purse stuffed with bills.

They headed back to the man’s home to complete the deal. But they only got so far.

“I turned my left signal the other side of the cross walk here, and that’s when the sirens went off. I thought, ‘what in the world is going on,'” the man.

The Manteca Bulletin captured a picture of police arresting Castle. But before they even got that point, the man had a tough choice to make.

“She said, ‘Don’t open that door, I’ve got a gun.'” the Manteca man said. “And (a police officer) hollered at me again, ‘Open that door and come out with your hands up.’ I thought I’d rather take a chance on her shooting me in the back.”

Police say they never recovered a weapon from Castle. She was arrested for bank robbery, elder abuse, false imprisonment, and resisting arrest.

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