Indiana police seek man who stole squad car

INDIANAPOLIS Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:52pm EST

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INDIANAPOLIS (Reuters) - An Indiana man who managed to steal a squad car while handcuffed remained at large on Thursday, two days after he was pulled over and a day after the car was found, police said.

William Blankenship, 22, stole a Kouts Police Department squad car after a traffic arrest on Tuesday, police allege. Blankenship had been pulled over for speeding, and police reported seeing drug paraphernalia in his car.

The suspect was handcuffed and put in the back of the squad car while an officer checked his vehicle. Blankenship then took off with the squad car, which was found in a retention pond Wednesday, police say.

"We recovered the car and the weapons in it, so now it will just be trying to find him," said Porter County Sheriff's Department Sgt. Larry LaFlower. LaFlower said he didn't know if Blankenship was still in the area.

LaFlower said he expects Kouts police to file charges against Blankenship. A representative for the Kouts police was not immediately available for comment.

(Reporting by Susan Guyett; Editing by Mary Wisniewski and Daniel Trotta)

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