Authorities in Alabama were searching Thursday for a jail escapee who overpowered a sheriff’s deputy and stole an ambulance at a hospital Wednesday, officials said.

Phillip Shane Bradford, 45, escaped Wednesday afternoon after he was taken to a Birmingham hospital for treatment, the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office said.

Bradford “managed to overpower the deputy and flee the scene in an unoccupied ambulance,” the office said in a statement.

Officers search for a jail escapee who stole an ambulance from UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., after a deputy transported him for medical treatment.
Officers search for a jail escapee who stole an ambulance from UAB Hospital in Birmingham, Ala., after a deputy transported him for medical treatment.WVTM

Online jail records show Bradford was being held as a pretrial inmate. He is charged with first-degree robbery, probation violations, possession of drug paraphernalia and other counts, according to the sheriff’s office.

Birmingham police found the ambulance abandoned later Wednesday.

Bradford was spotted Thursday morning in Cullman, around 40 miles north of Birmingham, stealing a 2004 silver GMC Envoy from a Walmart parking lot, police in that city told NBC affiliate WVTM of Birmingham.

Phil Helsel is a reporter for NBC News.

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