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San Antonio police: Man steals ambulance during patient call, ditches it 30 minutes later

Ambulance stolen from Sharmain Place, recovered at corner of Hutchins Place, Burton Avenue

SAN ANTONIO - Paramedics from the San Antonio Fire Department recovered an ambulance minutes after it was stolen while they were responding to a patient call in the 1100 block of Sharmain Place.

Paramedics parked the ambulance on Sharmain around 2:15 a.m. Monday and when they walked back outside, the ambulance was gone.

Oralia Zendejas saw her neighbor as she was leaving for the hospital, and had no idea an ambulance had already left without her.

"I thought it was a normal, you know, like you call an ambulance, somebody's sick, and they come and pick her up to take to the ... hospital," Oralia Zendejas, who lives next door to the patient, said. "I think that's pretty bad. You need the ambulance. You need to go to the hospital. They called the ambulance for a reason."

San Antonio police said the suspect drove the ambulance about a mile to the intersection of Hutchins Place and Burton Avenue where he ditched it.

The ambulance wasn't damaged, and nothing was taken out of it, San Antonio police said.

According to a police report, the ambulance is valued at $100,000 to $200,000.

According to a San Antonio Fire Department spokesman, the ambulance was running with the keys in it when it was stolen. Ambulances are left running, the spokesman said, because it's faster for emergency response. It's possible to lock the ambulance while it's running, but it's not required by SAFD policy to be locked.

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