Handcuffed man steals police car, radios about key

January 11, 2012 - 5:20 AM

KOUTS, Ind. (AP) — Authorities say a handcuffed man has stolen a police cruiser in northwest Indiana, and he radioed police for help in finding the car's cigarette lighter and a key to unlock his hands.

Investigators were still looking for 22-year-old William Francis Blankenship early Wednesday morning.

Police say he somehow escaped from the back of the vehicle and fled Tuesday evening after he was arrested on drug charges in Kouts, a small Indiana town about 50 miles southeast of Chicago.

Police say it's the only Kouts police car on the road and that there are loaded guns in the vehicle.

The Merrillville Post-Tribune reports that the man can be heard asking police over a radio about a key to the handcuffs and where the car's cigarette lighter was located.