A man is in custody after stealing an ambulance that was apparently left unlocked and idling outside a firehouse in Chinatown on Monday afternoon. After taking the rig, he made lengthy transmissions on a fire department radio frequency that suggest that he was experiencing paranoid thoughts.
The chase ended this evening, over 70 miles away from Chinatown near rural Dwight, Illinois.
A city surveillance camera captured the theft of ambulance #66. Watch:
A source with knowledge of fire department operations said CFD personnel frequently park ambulance #66 on the street because the Chinatown firehouse filled with other rigs.
Of course, the ambulance is supposed to be locked.
The man made several transmissions on the fire department’s EMS radio frequency as he headed out of the city. He speaks in a hurried voice about being accused of wrongdoing, leaving proof of his innocence at Second City, and even going to FBI headquarters. It is not clear if he intended to make the transmissions.
Scanner site CrimeIsDown.com captured the audio. Here are some excerpts. We have removed a couple of snippets to eliminate addresses and specific locations. Please note there are obscenities in the transmissions:
The ambulance ran without a tire on at least one wheel for several miles before the chase ended around 6:30 p.m. CBS2 captured the conclusion on video:
CWB Chicago will post updated stories if prosecutors approve charges in the case.