(CBS) — Police from Rockford to St. Charles were searching for a man who chose a very peculiar vehicle for a joyride — an ambulance stolen from the emergency room entrance to Rockford Memorial Hospital.
“It’s a hard vehicle to be inconspicuous with when you’re driving around,” said a flummoxed Rockford Police Lt. John Eau Claire.
The white 2011 Ford E450 ambulance, with blue lettering and an orange pinstripe, had just finished a run to the ER when the theft occurred, Eau Claire said. Ambulance personnel were standing near the ambulance, filling out paperwork, when the thief walked up to it, jumped into the driver’s seat and floored it.
Astonished ambulance and ER personnel tried to stop it, but Eau Claire said the thief aimed the ambulance at them and they scattered.
Police quickly put out an alert for the stolen ambulance. It was seen a short time later on Rockford’s far east side, then headed south on the Jane Addams Tollway. Eau Claire said the last confirmed sighting was southbound on Randall Road in Elgin.
Eau Claire said police believe they know who is at the wheel — a man in his early 40s from St. Charles. Asked if the suspect has a history of similar behavior, Eau Claire said emphatically, “No.”
The man wore a blue jacket, jeans and a tan baseball cap at the time and sports a mustache. Eau Claire could not say what connection, if any, the suspect has to Rockford or the hospital area, although he said the thief had not been transported and was not a patient at Rockford Memorial.