Image: William Francis Blankenship
Porter County Sheriff's Dept. via  AP
William Francis Blankenship, 22, is seen in an undated photo provided by the Porter County Sheriff's Department. (AP Photo/Porter County Sheriff's Dept.)
msnbc.com news services
updated 1/11/2012 1:13:37 PM ET 2012-01-11T18:13:37

Police in northwest Indiana have found a police cruiser they say was stolen by a handcuffed drug suspect who subsequently radioed  to ask where to find the car's cigarette lighter — and a key to unlock himself, police said.

"There was a conversation between him and one of our officers," Porter County Sheriff's Sgt. Larry LaFlower said. The sheriff's deputy did not tell Blankenship how to remove the handcuffs or use the cigarette lighter, and instead tried to talk Blankenship into pulling over and giving himself up, LaFlower said.

LaFlower says police found the Kouts cruiser Wednesday morning "wrecked and submerged in water" in southern LaPorte County.

The suspect, William Francis Blankenship, 22, wasn't with the car, a white 2010 Chevrolet Impala, which was believed to contain an undetermined number of guns, according to the Post-Tribune.

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

LaFlower says the officer who arrested him was the only one on duty at the time.

He didn't say if loaded guns left in the vehicle were still there.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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