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When the rubber no longer meets the road

Ocracoke Island in the Outer Banks of North Carolina has been home to some notable criminals. Pirates such as Blackbeard (a/k/a Edward Teach) and Calico Jack roamed the area; Teach made Ocracoke his headquarters.

Or if you want to hear about women pirates, let’s talk Anne Bonney and Mary Reed.

Here’s the story of a 21st century woman, an alleged criminal who, for criminality or pirate derring-do, can’t hold a candle to Anne and Mary.

The Hyde County (NC) Sheriff’s Office is investigating the case of a woman named Tara Cranmer, according to The Virginian-Pilot.

Their story: Cranmer was driving erratically in the town of Ocracoke (think kind of crooked, narrow streets that pirates would have lumbered through 300 years ago).

After the authorities got involved, Cranmer, they said, hit the gas pedal and got up to speeds of 100 mph. Imagine going 100 through Ocracoke, then northbound onto N.C. 12, the only highway on the island, which is basically a narrow strip of sand.

Cranmer was cursing (probably) and making obscene gestures at her pursuers. Her Mary Bonney impression failed when she threw her flip-flops out the window.

If you’ve ever been to Ocracoke, or even if you’ve ever been to any island, you know that at some point you run out of island. The only way off Ocracoke going north is the ferry.

Cranmer, 34, learned this truth the hard way. The authorities said she abandoned her truck and ran off over the sand dunes. The cops found her hiding in bushes an hour later. They were slow to circle where she was, smartly fearing that she might be armed.

As for Cranmer, she’s in a world of hurt, facing charges for eluding and resisting arrest, possession of a stolen vehicle, reckless driving and – this one is no surprise — driving while intoxicated.

The would-be pirate vessel in this tale, the truck Cranmer was driving, was stolen. It no doubt enjoyed more excitement than it likely ever had faced before.

It was returned to its owner, some guy from New Jersey.

— Paul Fletcher