11/7/23 York, PA – Woman Steals Ambulance While Crew Was At A Call – Police Chase – Struck Car – Hit Fire Hydrant – Arrested – She Said She Wanted To Get To The Hospital Quicker

Man arrested after stealing ambulance from Vanderbilt

November 7, 2023


Barbara Smitha York City resident, allegedly took the UPMC LifeTeam EMS ambulance while its crew was at a call in the 200 block of North Duke Street around 10 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7.

Smith struck a car and a fire hydrant while leading police on a chase down Duke Street, according to the police.

After the 14-block pursuit, she pulled over and parked the ambulance near WellSpan York Hospital by the intersection of Queen and Irving streets, according to York City Police Captain Daniel Lentz. Then she hopped out and began running, Lentz explained.

When the police caught her and asked her why she took the ambulance she told officers “she needed to get to the hospital and wanted to get there quicker,” Lentz said.

The ambulance is currently out of service and undergoing repairs, authorities explained.

Smith has been charged with the following according to her court docket:

  • Felony fleeing or attempting to elude an officer.
  • Felony theft by unlawful taking -movable property.
  • Felony receiving stolen property.
  • Misdemeanor evading arrest.
  • Misdemeanor recklessly endangering another person.
  • Summary changes for five traffic offenses.

She was denied bail at her preliminary arraignment before Magisterial District Judge David C. Eshbach at 8 a.m. on Nov. 8. The reason for the denial was listed on her docket as PA Constitution Article 1 Section 14, which reads in part: “All prisoners shall be bailable by sufficient sureties, unless for capital offenses when the proof is evident of presumption great.”

Her preliminary hearing has been scheduled before Magisterial District Judge Adrian Boxley Sr. at 9 a.m. on Nov. 22, according to her docket.