WELLSTON, Mo. (AP) — Police in the St. Louis County town of Wellston are searching for a 49-year-old woman who escaped from police custody while still wearing handcuffs by stealing a squad car.

KMOV-TV (http://bit.ly/WhDEN2 ) reports that the woman was pulled over Thursday for having fake temporary tags on her car. Officers handcuffed her and placed her in a patrol car.

But while an officer was collecting information, police say the woman was able to get her hands in front of her, slide into the front seat and drive off with the car. She abandoned it and fled on foot.

Authorities say that the suspect had been arrested previously for assault on a law enforcement officer.

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Information from: KMOV-TV, http://www.kmov.com