Never leave your unattended vehicle running in Chicago. Not even if your vehicle is an ambulance.
That’s one lesson to be learned from a weird incident that unfolded near the Magnificent Mile on Saturday morning.
Another lesson: Don’t give your car keys to a guy who gets out of an ambulance and claims to be a fireman.
Around 10 a.m. yesterday, a Lifeline ambulance crew left their rig running outside the Warren Barr Living and Rehab Center at 66 West Oak, according to a CPD report. The medics were later stunned to discover that their ride had disappeared.
Lifeline tracked the stolen ambulance via GPS, and cops located it on the 200 block of East Lake Shore Drive, just steps from Michigan Avenue. No one was inside.
As police stood near the stolen rig, a man walked up to report that a fireman had stolen his car a few minutes earlier. Or, more accurately, someone who claimed to be a fireman had stolen his car.
The 47-year-old man said the thief got out of the Lifeline ambulance, walked up to him, and said he needed the man’s car keys so he could move the car for an emergency.
The “fireman” and the victim’s white Ford Fusion, bearing Blackhawks plate PAWS1, haven’t been seen since.
Police said the man believed the thief was wearing a fireman’s uniform, but officers also said the thief was wearing clothes that more closely resembled a construction worker, including a yellow hat and yellow vest.
Some contents of the ambulance were also stolen, police said.
Area Three detectives are investigating the case.