Police say woman stole car on Parliament Hill after trying to get into Centre Block

Ottawa police have charged a 27-year-old Ottawa woman they say stole a taxi to drive to Parliament Hill and then stole another vehicle once she was turned away from its entrance by security on Monday afternoon.

The woman, who was unarmed, has been charged with two counts of theft of a vehicle and one count of theft under $5,000.

Ottawa police said she arrived on Parliament Hill in a stolen taxi around 3:30 p.m., when it was abandoned on Wellington Street in front of the Parliament Buildings.

The woman proceeded to the entrance of Centre Block and told the guards she was an employee and wanted to go inside, according to Melissa Rusk, a spokesperson for the Parliamentary Protective Service (PPS).

The woman had no supporting identification and was turned away. Police said the woman then jumped into an unoccupied car that was idling nearby and drove that car toward the exit of the Hill, where she was stopped and arrested by the RCMP.

"In order to ensure that the safety and security of the Parliamentary Precinct and the grounds of Parliament Hill remain paramount, we will not be disclosing the origin of the vehicle," Rusk said.

A spokesperson for the Senate Speaker's office confirmed the incident Thursday, but declined to provide further details, citing security concerns.

'No public threat'

"There was no threat on Parliament Hill, no public threat," Ottawa police Const. Chuck Benoit told CBC News. "It's considered a mental health situation. She will have a mental health assessment."

Police said a referral to the mental health court has been made.

Security has been beefed up on Parliament Hill since Michael Zihaf-Bibeau Bibeau, 32, stormed Centre Block on Oct. 22, 2014, after abandoning a stolen car near Parliament Hill and shooting Cpl. Nathan Cirillo at the National War Memorial. He then stole another car on the grounds of Parliament Hill.

Bibeau was armed with a hunting rifle and was gunned down by parliamentary security guards, RCMP officers and then sergeant-at-arms Kevin Vickers.

Parliament Hill is quieter than usual this week, as the House of Commons and Senate are on a weeklong break.