ST. LOUIS, MO (KTVI) – A man is in police custody after they say he stole an ambulance from St. Anthony’s Hospital. They were able to track him and the vehicle down to a south county home. The vehicle was found an hour later and 3 miles from the hospital. A woman arrived home to find an ambulance in her driveway and she didn’t know why it was there.
Police say about 12:15pm Friday a Kirkwood Fire Department Ambulance delivered a patient to St. Anthony’s. Paramedics removed the patient from the rear of the vehicle and took him inside. Surveillance video then shows a man getting into the passenger side of the ambulance and drive away.
Less than an hour later police are called to the Ferbet Estates Subdivision. A home owner says she just pulled up to her home and saw an ambulance in her driveway. She didn’t know why it was there. Police told her to stay away from the vehicle and her home. Within a couple of minutes several police cars arrived .
An officer noticed a back window at the home was broken. They had a K-9 dog pick up a scent from the driver’s seat of the ambulance and then went searching inside the house. A man hiding in an upstairs bedroom refused to come out, so the police dog went in and got him.
The suspect is 36-years-old. His name has not been released. The homeowner did want to be identified or go on camera. St. Anthony’s said it would have no comment since it is a police investigation.
The Kirkwood Fire Chief told me there was no violation of procedure by his paramedics in the incident.
Chief Tom Openlander said they pulled the vehicle into a covered secured ambulance area where there is no public access. He says it is not uncommon to leave the keys in the ignition so as not to delay response time. However, he said after today’s incident the policy will change. They will remove the keys and lock the vehicle.