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If they let you out of jail, don't steal a car on your way out

Ritchie County, W.Va., Sheriff's Department

Ritchie County Sheriff's Deputy Jim Asbury and his K-9 partner, Benji, were being checked out after a man and a woman who had just been released from jail stole a car and rammed his vehicle Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2012, authorities said.

The No. 1 thing not to do when you're released from jail: steal a jail worker's car on your way out of the pokey.

A man and a woman did just that Wednesday night immediately upon being released from jail in Greenwood, W.Va., authorities said.

To make matters worse, they then ran a red light and T-boned a sheriff's car as they fled pursuing state and county officers in Pennsboro, the Ritchie County Sheriff's Office said in a statement. That brought their escape — if you can call it that, considering they had just been released from North Central Regional Jail in neighboring Doddridge County — to a crashing halt.

The suspects, identified as Michael Lee Sharp and Amanda Clendenning, were checked out and released from hospitals with no major injuries, as was Ritchie County Deputy Jim Asbury. 

As for the condition of Benji, the K-9 dog who was in the car with Asbury: In a posting on the department's Facebook page, the deputy wrote that he was "little bit sore this morning and am getting ready to take Benji to the vet to get him checked out but he seems to be doing ok."

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It wasn't immediately known why Sharp and Clendenning were in jail in the first place. Backus said he couldn't offer further details because the case was still under investigation. But both face charges in both counties, authorities said. 

Because Sharp was driving, his charges will include grand larceny, reckless driving, failing to obey a traffic control device and fleeing with a vehicle.

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