A man with a long and violent criminal record who allegedly told investigators that he “probably” stole an ambulance near the Magnificent Mile because he was curious about what it would be like to drive one was sentenced to six years in prison this week.
It all started in July 2020 when a Lifeline ambulance crew left their rig running outside the Warren Barr Living and Rehab Center at 66 West Oak. The medics were later stunned to discover that their ride had disappeared.
Cops found it abandoned on the 100 block of East Lake Shore Drive, steps from Michigan Avenue.
Police released video from the ambulance’s surveillance system that shows a man who looks a lot like Steve Jenkins driving away with it. Remember this?
As the video shows, he didn’t drive it very far. The thief pulled it over near Michigan Avenue and allegedly stole another man’s car, leaving the ambo behind. Chicago cops linked Jenkins to the ambulance theft after he reportedly crashed the other man’s car in Indiana.
Jenkins told police he “probably took the ambulance because he was curious about driving it,” Assistant State’s Attorney Jocelyn Schieve alleged.
On Tuesday, Jenkins pleaded guilty to possession of a stolen motor vehicle. Judge William Hooks sentenced him to six years in prison with credit for the 461 days he spent in jail.
But Jenkins may not be going to prison right away. According to court records, Lake County, Indiana, authorities plan to extradite him on pending charges of robbery and auto theft.
During his bail hearing in the ambulance theft case, Schieve said he received a six-year sentence for attempted murder in 1981 and 40 years for armed robbery and vehicular hijacking in 1995.