On Sunday, November 20, shortly before 5 a.m. UPFD paramedics responded to an “assist invalid” call in the 3500 block of Northwest Parkway. After completing in-home care for the resident, paramedics returned curbside to find that their ambulance had been stolen.
UPPD officers and City 911 personnel immediately began using tracking technology to monitor the ambulance’s location. Various police agencies were notified of the vehicle’s progress as it traveled through area communities. At 6:25 a.m. uniformed UPPD officers found the ambulance in Hurst at a McDonald’s restaurant off Airport Freeway. After securing the vehicle, UPPD officers entered the restaurant and questioned a man who had a paramedic safety vest in his possession. He soon told officers that he had taken the vehicle.
That 35-year individual, who is homeless, is in custody. Following arraignment, his bond will be set on a charge of Theft of Property over $300,000 – a first-degree felony.
University Park police and fire personnel have examined the ambulance and determined that no narcotics or emergency equipment had been tampered with. UPFD has notified the necessary agencies to inform them that the ambulance was out of the City’s possession for just more than one hour. The ambulance has been given a thorough mechanical inspection by City fleet services, and has been put back into service.