A woman stole an ambulance in Southeast D.C. on Wednesday and was trailed by police cars, authorities say and video appears to show.
Video obtained by News4 shows the ambulance in motion with its lights flashing as the driver repeatedly honks the horn. The driver rounds a turn and waves as she passes someone who’s recording.
The ambulance was taken from the 3600 block of 22nd Street SE at about 10:35 a.m. as its crew treated a patient in a nearby apartment building, police said. The location is north of Mississippi Avenue, near the D.C.-Maryland line.
Maurice Evans said he was working in an apartment and then stepped outside.
“I saw the lady standing there, and then she just jumped in the ambulance, put on the uniform and [was] trying to start it. I was like, ‘Oh, this is not good,’” he said.
A member of the ambulance’s crew called for help.
“Someone stole our ambulance while we were assisting a patient in her apartment,” a man could be heard saying on a dispatch call.
Witnesses said the ambulance thief rode around the block and then was taken into custody.
“Five cops, three motorcycles, and they were chasing them around,” Kenneth Davis said.
Francine Hilton, 46, of Southeast, was arrested and faces charges including theft, unauthorized use of a vehicle and fleeing from law enforcement.
No one was injured and no patients were in the ambulance when it was taken, police said. Another ambulance arrived and its crew picked up the patient who the first crew had been treating.
The theft comes amid a 100% spike in motor vehicle thefts in D.C., from 3,022 at this time last year to 6,038 so far this year.