The Kouts police squad car thief from Knox is being extradited to Illinois where he will face other charges, after Porter Superior Court Judge Roger Bradford sentenced 23-year-old William F. Blankenship to five years total time served and the rest of his sentence on probation. Blankenship was arrested in January for stealing a police squad car after being handcuffed and placed into the backseat. He was able to free himself from the back seat while the officer was searching his car and took off with the vehicle.
Blankenship spent a total of nine months in the Porter County Jail, but because of good behavior in the jail, he received roughly 18 months’ credit to his sentence. However, he is being extradited to Illinois to face additional charges. Bradford said he felt further incarceration would not do Blankenship any good because of mental issues, including bipolar disorder.
Defense attorney Peter Boyles said that Blankenship has undergone the jail’s drug program, and he has begun the process for being prescribed psychiatric drugs. Boyles explained that this involves being segregated from other prisoners.
Blankenship previously pleaded guilty to Escape as a Class C felony and Auto Theft as a Class D felony on Aug. 20. The state dropped two Class D felony charges of Criminal Mischief and Fleeing Law Enforcement.