AN ACCUSED handbag thief sparked a dramatic chase outside a Fraser Coast shopping centre after jumping in the back of a stranger's car and demanding they drive off, police have alleged.
Brittany Doblo-Williams, 18, was arrested by an off-duty police officer in Hervey Bay on Monday.
The police officer, who was visiting from another region, was allegedly punched in the face during the altercation.
Police allege Ms Doblo-Williams stole bags worth $700 from a shop inside Stockland before fleeing.
There, she allegedly got into a car and told those inside to drive off.
When they refused, she allegedly got out and kept running before being taken down by the officer.
The accused fronted Hervey Bay Magistrates Court on Tuesday charged with stealing, unlawful entry of a motor vehicle, assaulting a police officer and public nuisance.
She was remanded in police custody ahead of her next court appearance on Tuesday.
Update your news preferences and get the latest news delivered to your inbox.