Update: Man charged with stealing ambulance near Mag Mile

Steve Jenkins (inset) and a security image of the ambulance thief. | CPD

Remember over the summer when a man who claimed to be a fire department employee stole an ambulance near the Magnificent Mile and then stole another car nearby?

Well, charges were filed in that case Tuesday.

Back on July 12, 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 100 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.

Police released video from the ambulance’s surveillance system about three weeks later.

Tuesday, prosecutors charged 59-year-old Steve Jenkins in connection with the case. Jenkins crashed the stolen car shortly after stealing it as he fled from cops in Munster, Indiana, Assistant State’s Attorney Jocelyn Schieve said.

Chicago police learned about the Indiana case and subsequently connected him to the ambulance incident. A fugitive apprehension team arrested Jenkins this week.

Jenkins told police he “probably took the ambulance because he was curious about driving it,” Schieve alleged. He also said he wore the reflective vest beause he “wanted it to be seen in the dark,” according to Schieve. The ambulance was stolen at 9:41 a.m.

Prosecutors charged Jenkins with possession of a stolen motor vehicle and theft. Schieve said he received a six-year sentence for attempted murder in 1981 and 40 years for armed robbery and vehicular hijacking in 1995. He currently has robbery and stolen motor vehicle cases pending in Indiana, she said.

Judge John Lyke set bail at $100,000 in the new case and ordered Jenkins to go onto electronic monitoring if he posts the mandatory 10% deposit bond.

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CWBChicago was created in 2013 by five residents of Wrigleyville and Boystown who had grown disheartened with inaccurate information that was being provided at local Community Policing (CAPS) meetings. Our coverage area has expanded since then to cover Lincoln Park, River North, The Loop, Uptown, and other North Side Areas. But our mission remains unchanged: To provide original public safety reporting with better context and greater detail than mainstream media outlets. Our editorial email address is news@cwbchicago.com