full array of police car lights.

A US woman has stunned police officers after attempting to steal their patrol car while they were sat inside.

Police were patrolling outside a rap concert in the Strip District of Pittsburgh in an unmarked car, when the woman, who was part of a group being monitored – and had apparently noticed the car was a police vehicle – jumped behind the wheel when the driver got out to take a phone call.

The woman, later identified as 32-year-old Ria Buford, was quickly instructed to get out of the car, with one of the officers shouting: "Pittsburgh police, get out of the vehicle now! You're under arrest," the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reports.

Buford then informed the gobsmacked cops that she would be driving the car to her own vehicle, at which point the officer in the rear of the car also began demanding she leave the vehicle.

"We were both terrified that she was going to attempt to drive away with both of us in the vehicle," commented officer Garrett Spory.

Spory then ran around the car and attempted to drag Buford from the driver's seat. It was then he was accosted by an unidentified man, who intervened on her behalf.

Both the man and woman were later arrested, with Buford being charged with public drunkenness, disorderly conduct and robbery of a motor vehicle. Her anonymous would-be rescuer was charged with aggravated assault and resisting arrest.