State police are searching for a man who stole two automobiles and eluded the eyes of the million-candlepower searchlight on a police helicopter and the nose of a bloodhound dog in the Eldersburg area about 3 a.m. Friday.
The thief also slipped through a cadre of state troopers combing the area, officials reported.
Investigators said the man apparently stole a 1987 VW convertible from the 1500 block of Indian Valley Trail and drove it to a neighborhood along Route 32, north of the Eldersburg Business Center.
Police said several people saw a man searching in vehicles, apparently looking for something to steal or possibly planning to steal another vehicle, and called state police.
Troopers responded to the site and the suspect fled on foot in the direction of Placid Drive.
A 1989 Toyota was stolen from the 1300 block of Placid Drive. The VW, stolen from Indian Valley Trail was recovered nearby, police said.
Police called in a helicopter with a searchlight and a tracking dog but were unable to find the thief or the car.