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Troopers still seeking pair who stole patrol vehicle after Big Lake arrest

  • Author: Laurel Andrews
  • Updated: September 28, 2016
  • Published September 3, 2015

Alaska State Troopers are still seeking two Big Lake residents who drove off in a patrol vehicle Wednesday afternoon after one was handcuffed and placed in the cruiser's backseat.

Joshua Watford, 38, had been taken into custody on an outstanding warrant for his arrest, after troopers received a tip he was at North Shore Pawn and Thrift in Big Lake.

He had been wanted for failure to appear to his "court-ordered alcohol related classes," troopers spokesperson Megan Peters said. The original charge was for driving under the influence.

Watford had been cuffed and secured in the back of the patrol vehicle, a Ford Explorer, just before 2:30 p.m., troopers reported, when a passing motorist stopped and began speaking with the trooper about an unrelated topic.

While they talked, 28-year-old Amber Watford, who was nearby, "got into the driver's seat of the patrol vehicle and drove away."

The patrol vehicle was found undamaged and unoccupied about an hour later on West Fireweed Drive in Big Lake.

Police continued looking for the couple until around 6:30 p.m., then called off the search.

Troopers have requested warrants for their arrest and are asking that anyone with information about their whereabouts call the Alaska State Troopers at (907) 352-5401 or local law enforcement.

Note: This story has been edited to reflect that the troopers' cruiser was found in Big Lake, not in Anchorage.

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