North Bend, WA - Warrant Arrest Subject In Handcuffs Steals King County Sheriff's Patrol Car - Ditched Patrol Car - Massive Search For 5 Hours

July 25, 2015

The man who police say stole a King County Sheriff's patrol car while handcuffed was finally taken into custody a second time Saturday afternoon after a search that lasted for several hours.

The hunt began after a deputy reported his SUV stolen around 9 a.m. in the North Bend area. The deputy was responding to a report of a suspicious car and person around 8:30 a.m., the King County Sheriff's Office said, and approached a man who had several warrants out for his arrest.

It is unclear what followed, but the investigators say the suspect, identified as 26-year-old Teddy Bell of Snoqualmie, managed to get into the deputy's car and drive off while still handcuffed. The deputy was not in the SUV at the time, a sheriff's office spokesman said.

Officials said Bell managed to slip the cuffs in a way to where he could get his hands in front of him.

Bell drove the deputy's SUV about 5 miles before stopping in the Uplands area near North Bend, according to Capt. Rodney Chinnick with the King County Sheriff's Office. Deputies and officers from several different law enforcement agencies set-up a perimeter around the area, brought in a search helicopter and two police dogs to try to track him down.

After several hours of searching, deputies found Bell -- still handcuffed -- in a wooded area less than a mile away from where he abandoned the deputy's SUV, deputies said.

Chinnick said Bell tried to hide himself under some mud, leaves, and other debris to avoid being spotted by one of the police dogs and his partner.

"He's within a few feet of him. He's right on top of him and this guy is secreted, is buried so well that he couldn't have found him," said Chinnick.

Bell and the deputy who initially placed him under arrest were not hurt, Chinnick said.

"It is crazy, but it shows the state of mind that that individual must have been going through at that time to feel that he had no other option than to escape. I mean, it's ridiculous," said Denise Stone, who lives in the area.

No weapons were stolen from the deputy's SUV, deputies said. Investigators will be looking at the separator screen, the windows, and the locks inside the SUV to make sure everything was working properly at the time of Bell's initial arrest, Chinnick said.

Bell was taken to the King County Jail in Seattle and will likely face several charges, Chinnick said.