A San Francisco Fire Department ambulance was stolen Monday evening from the Outer Sunset and went on a wild ride through the city and San Mateo and Alameda counties with the sirens going and lights flashing, law enforcement officials confirmed.
An SFFD paramedic was responding to an emergency medical situation and was in the process of bringing a patient to the ambulance just before 6:45 p.m. when the vehicle was stolen in the area of 47th Avenue and Irving Street.
California Highway Patrol (CHP) and other agencies pursued the ambulance using helicopters and GPS through San Mateo and Alameda until it exited onto city streets in Oakland.
SFFD Capt. Jonathan Baxter said in an emailed statement that due to the “driver’s disregard for other vehicles and pedestrians on city streets,” CHP discontinued the chase when the ambulance entered city streets.
While preparing to leave the area of the pursuit, a CHP unit spotted the parked and abandoned ambulance. It is now on its way back to SFFD.
The identity of the suspect is currently unknown, and officials said an investigtion is underway.
The patient that was being attended to in San Francisco was taken to a local hospital, and the ambulance crew was not harmed.
“This unprovoked act is alarming and endangered not only this patient and the crews but also countless emergencies that this crew won’t be able to respond to now,” Baxter said Monday night.
The Twitter account @ScannerFremont posted a play-by-play of the chase, reporting that the stolen ambulance eventually left San Mateo and headed north on 880, losing wheels to spike strips set up by law enforcement along its route. The account said that the vehicle eventually came to a stop near the 23rd Avenue exit in Oakland. Some of these details could not be independently confirmed by The Standard.
This is not the first time a San Francisco ambulance was stolen and taken for a ride. Late last summer, SFFD paramedics were left shaken after their ambulance was taken for a joyride in a Best Buy parking lot by a person wielding a “stake from a tree.”
This is a developing story, check back for updates.
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