SAN JOSE -- A day after he gave detectives the slip by maneuvering his handcuffed hands out from behind his back and stealing a police van, 32-year-old Anthony Sanchez remains at large, officials said Thursday.

Sanchez was taken into custody around 3:30 p.m. Wednesday, but escaped after he was placed in the back of an unmarked minivan while an officer stood nearby doing paperwork.

According to San Jose police spokesman Sgt. Jason Dwyer, the detectives -- who sought out and arrested Sanchez on two probation warrants -- had used a pair of linked handcuffs on Sanchez because of his size.

"Ironically they did it to help him," Dwyer said Wednesday, explaining that they linked the cuffs instead of using one set to lessen stress on Sanchez's shoulders.

But Sanchez was able to slip the cuffs to the front of his body and once his hands were in front of him got into the drivers seat of the van -- where the keys were in the ignition -- and sped off.

On Thursday, police announced that special operations officers are trying to locate Sanchez. In addition to his probation violations, Sanchez is now wanted for auto theft and escape from custody.

Dwyer said Wednesday that Sanchez is not believed to be dangerous and arresting officers had no reason to consider him a flight risk.

The van was found around 5:30 p.m. Wednesday near Almaden Expressway and Wren Drive, about two hours after the escape and a mile away. No weapons were ever in the van and nothing was taken, police said.


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Sanchez is described as Latino, 5-foot-8 to 5-foot-10, 250 to 275 pounds, and was last seen wearing black sweatpants and a gray sweatshirt.

Anyone with information about his whereabouts is asked to call 911.

Contact Eric Kurhi at 408-920-5852. Follow him at Twitter.com/erickurhi.