Suspect steals unlocked police vehicle in Ridley

January 27, 2010 11:15:27 AM PST
A police vehicle has been recovered after it was stolen in Ridley Township, Pa.

Authorities say a suspect being held at the township police headquarters stole a red police SUV around 6:30 a.m.

Police found the vehicle, and the suspect, at Pembroke Ave. and Church Lane in Upper Darby a short time later.

The suspect, identified as James Bolton, 36, of West Philadelphia, is back in custody.

Police say Bolton was originally pulled over for driving erratically. When officers allegedly found marijuana on him, he was arrested.

After he was processed at the police station, he was told he could leave. He went out to the parking lot, police say, where his vehicle was waiting for him.

However, authorities say Bolton instead took the police SUV, which was unlocked and had the keys in the visor.

It also had a police-issued assault rifle inside, which was locked up.

Police say it is against department policy to leave an official vehicle unlocked with keys inside. The officer who left it unlocked will face a reprimand.

Investigators say they have no idea why Bolton decided to steal the vehicle.

Bolton was only facing minor charges for marijuana possession, but he's now facing more serious charges of theft of a vehicle and receiving stolen property.