4/16/23 Mesa, AZ – Fire Department Ambulance Stolen From Banner Desert Hospital – Collided Head On With Gila River Police Car – Spike Strips Used – Man Captured

Man arrested after stealing ambulance from Vanderbilt

April 16, 2023


A patient who was discharged from a Mesa hospital on Sunday afternoon decided to steal an ambulance, the police department says.

It was reported an ambulance had been taken from Banner Desert Medical Center just after 1:30 p.m. near Southern Avenue and Dobson Road on April 16.

 “Phoenix PD was able to locate the vehicle in their city and eventually Gila River PD got involved. Ultimately the vehicle stopped and Gila River PD took over,” Mesa Police said.

According to court documents, 45-year-old Joshua Esau stole the ambulance and collided head-on with a Gila River Police cruiser before officers were able to stop the ambulance with spike strips near 51st Avenue and Dobbins Road.

Esau was arrested and booked into jail. He is accused of aggravated assault.

This is the third time this year, that officers across the Valley have been in pursuit of a stolen ambulance.