December 19, 2014

Elyria
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LifeCare ambulance stolen, then abandoned minutes later

LORAIN – A LifeCare ambulance, which was stolen while on a routine call, was abandoned in the middle of the street in Lorain only minutes after the theft Friday.

The incident began around 1 a.m. on Friday when two LifeCare paramedics went to the 1100 block of West 21st Street to respond to a woman going into labor. They left the ambulance in the driveway and went to talk to the woman inside.

While they were in the house, they heard the ambulance pulling out of the drive, they told police, and they ran out to see it heading eastbound along West 21st Street.

They called for another ambulance to take the woman to the hospital, LifeCare Vice President Herb de la Porte said.

Through LifeCare dispatch, officers were able to track the ambulance as it moved down West 21st, eventually stopping at West 22nd Street between Lexington Avenue and Reid Avenue.

When police responded to West 22nd Street, they found the ambulance abandoned in the middle of the street. LifeCare personnel said nothing was stolen or missing.

De la Porte said this is the first time in his 27 years of working with LifeCare that an ambulance has been stolen.

“(Stealing an ambulance) is an act of ultimate, irresponsible stupidity,” de la Porte said, adding that if the suspect or suspects stole the vehicle to get medication, they were “sorely mistaken” because ambulances don’t carry the kind of medication that an addict would be looking for.

Police have no suspects yet but are hopeful that since the ambulance went through construction on Washington Avenue, they may be able to check the camera system at the site to possibly identify a suspect.

Contact Anna Merriman at 329-7245 or amerriman@chroniclet.com