Police on Wednesday said the Union County Sheriff’s Department truck was found and recovered in the parking lot of a Kroger in Shelbyville. The Connersville felon, Steven T. Lakes, is still on the loose. Police said he is armed with a department-issued handgun that was in the truck.
CONNERSVILLE, Ind. — Authorities are searching for an elusive Connersville felon who is on the run after stealing a Union County Sheriff’s Department truck, according to Indiana State Police.
Witnesses told FOX59 the pickup truck was stolen from the QuickPix Convenience store on N. Main Street in Liberty just before 11 a.m. Tuesday.
ISP said 45-year-old Steven T. Lakes is driving a black Ford F-150 with sheriff decals and no light bar. He should be considered armed and dangerous and may have a weapon, police added. He was last seen headed to Ripley County.
ISP Sgt. Scott Keegan said Lakes is 5’6″ tall, weighs about 145 lbs and no longer has the facial hair seen in his photo. He was wearing a black hoodie and black pants.
According to Raul Leon, a server at El Reparo, he noticed police activity at the gas station as he walked back from the store. He looked out the window of work and noticed several deputies standing with at least one person.
He said that person had their hands up in the air, though it’s not clear who that individual was. Surveillance cameras on a nearby business captured that interaction from afar.
Leon said that not long after that he noticed the truck take off quickly, but did not see the exact moments leading up to it.
“The truck left very fast,” said Leon.
The Union County Sheriff’s Department said no injuries were reported in the incident but did not release any other information Tuesday, including how Lakes gained access of the vehicle.
As of early Tuesday evening, authorities had not announced any updates, including whether the vehicle or Lakes had been located.
This is the second time in the last few days that authorities said Lakes has evaded police.
According to the Connersville Police Department, Lakes has several arrest warrants for the battery of a public safety official and dealing methamphetamine. Court records show he is a convicted felon, having served jail time for previous crimes, including theft.
Authorities noted that he has a history of evading arrest, including an incident Saturday evening in which officers served a warrant at a home in the 1300 block of Eastern Avenue but were unable to take him into custody.
Police said they later found the home to have “several hidden rooms and crawl spaces.” They believe Lakes used those to avoid police during a warrant service. Officers said they found two other people wanted on felony arrest warrants and took them into custody.
“I knew there was commotion, and somebody told me what was going on, that there was a standoff,” said Terry Farmer, a Connersville resident, who lives nearby the home authorities were searching.
“I heard a couple double booms. Boom, boom a couple times, and I knew it was getting serious,” said Farmer.
Days later, the situation got even more serious, as Lakes took off with a deputy’s truck. Anyone who sees him is asked not to approach and instead, call 911.
This is a developing story and will be updated one more information is available.