Police had to lay down spike strips to stop a man who allegedly stole an ambulance from a local hospital and led police on a chase, investigators said.
“I came outside and I was like, ‘oh my God’, I saw guns and people pointing at the ambulance,” witness Angie Dela Fuente said. "It was scary."
Paramedic Dan Summers said the crew had transported Paul John Sos, 52, to Sharp Memorial Hospital, unloaded him and taken him inside to be seen.
When they came back out, the ambulance was gone.
“It isn’t hard to track an ambulance, they’re big red boxes and their numbers are up on the roof,” Summers said.
Police quickly caught up with the “big red box,” also equipped with GPS, on Clairemont Mesa Boulevard.
They laid down the spike strips at Beadnell Way and Cannington Drive, Sgt. Ray Battrick said.
“Which brought it to a stop, and luckily, no damage to the ambulance other than the tires. We should be able to get it back in service pretty quick,” Summers said.
He said this kind of thing happens from time to time and wasn’t sure of the motive.
“But every time this happens, it’s had a bad outcome for the thief, I can tell you that,” Summers said. “If there’s anything I can say to discourage people from stealing ambulances, it doesn’t turn out well for them.”
Sos was arrested for auto theft, failure to yield to police, driving with a suspended license, and felony drunk driving.