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Man arrested for trying to steal self-driving Waymo car, LAPD says

A man was arrested after he allegedly tried to steal a Waymo car that had just dropped off a passenger in Los Angeles, according to police.

The attempted car theft happened Saturday night after a self-driving Jaguar sedan belonging to the Waymo company dropped off a passenger on Main Street near 1st Street. There, 33-year-old Vincent Maurice Jones got into the car and in the driver’s seat, the Los Angeles Police Department said.

Jones tried to put the car in “drive” but was unsuccessful.

A Waymo employee used the car’s communication system to order Jones to exit the vehicle. After Jones refused to comply, the employee called the LAPD.

The suspect was arrested on suspicion of attempted grand theft auto.

It is not known whether he has an attorney to speak on his behalf.

Self-driving taxis are an increasingly common sight in California, with state regulators on Friday authorizing Waymo to expand services of its fleet of robotaxis into the greater Los Angeles area and south of San Francisco.

Waymo is owned by Google parent Alphabet Inc. and has also been operating the service in Phoenix since 2020.

In San Francisco, Waymo’s cars are not universally popular and have been known to come to sudden stops that have backed up traffic in the city, according to The Associated Press.

Source: NBC Los Angeles

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