Man steals ambulance, crashes into east side golf course

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INDIANAPOLIS, Ind. (September 30, 2014) – A man stole an ambulance and crashed the vehicle onto an east side golf course Tuesday morning.

At approximately 6:15 a.m., police were called to Community East Hospital near East 16th Street and North Ritter Avenue with reports of a stolen ambulance.

Indianapolis EMS public information officer Carl Rochelle told FOX59 News in a live interview that the two paramedics had followed procedure by bringing their patient inside the hospital and leaving the ambulance in what is supposed to be a secure location.

"They came back and discovered the vehicle was missing and immediately reported it," Rochelle said.

Using a tracking device inside the ambulance, IEMS and the Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department located the ambulance at the Maple Creek Golf Course in the area of 21st Street, just west of German Church Road.

Police set up a perimeter around the golf course to search for the suspect, but a K-9 unit ended up discovering the suspect had remained inside the ambulance and police apprehended him around 6:45 a.m., Rochelle said.

The ambulance was discovered covered with fencing and so Indianapolis EMS will have to fully inspect the vehicle before putting it back into service.

"We want to check all the medications, the devices, to make sure everything is present that way we are able to continue to provide the great service to the citizens of Indianapolis," Rochelle said.  "We also want to make sure that it’s structurally sound, so we’ll have our mechanics in our garage fleet section check that vehicle out to make sure it’s road ready."

Rochelle stressed that despite the ordeal, which he said is the first time an ambulance has been stolen from Indianapolis EMS, ambulance service was never disrupted and the backup ambulances in the fleet were ready to step up.  He said IEMS currently has 31 ambulances actively in service and about a dozen on standby.