Handcuffed suspect steals Texas patrol car

April 7, 2011 at 5:27 PM

ATASCOCITA, Texas, April 7 (UPI) -- Police in Texas said a suspected burglar handcuffed and buckled into the back seat of a patrol car climbed to the front seat and drove off.

Police said Robert Cantrell, 41, was pulled over in Atascocita at about 6:30 p.m. Wednesday by a Harris County Precinct 4 deputy constable who determined the Ford pickup truck had been reported stolen, the Houston Chronicle reported Thursday.

The truck was found to contain a number of apparently stolen electronic devices, police said.

Cantrell was placed in handcuffs and buckled into the back seat of the deputy's patrol car while investigation of the stolen truck continued.

"He (the deputy) turned around and saw the guy (Cantrell) jump over the back seat to the front seat," Precinct 4 Capt. Wally Wieghat said.

Cantrell drove the vehicle in reverse, struck a parked vehicle, spun around and sped away from the scene with the deputy chasing on foot, authorities said. The suspect drove through about 15 back yards before crashing into a deep bayou and fleeing the patrol car on foot.

Deputies found the suspect hiding in the back seat of a nearby parked car, authorities said.

Cantrell is facing counts of felony escape and criminal mischief among other charges, police said.

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