Chicago police chase ends with 1 in custody after Chicago ambulance stolen in Chinatown

ByLiz Nagy and ABC7 Chicago Digital Team WLS logo
Tuesday, April 26, 2022
Driver in custody after police chase involving stolen ambulance
A Chicago police chase ended with 1 person in custody after a Chicago Fire Department ambulance that was stolen in Chinatown Monday afternoon.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- A man is in custody following a more than 70-mile police chase after stealing city ambulance in Chinatown Monday afternoon.

Police said at about 4:40 p.m. a Chicago Fire Department ambulance was parked in the 200-block of West Cermak. Police said it was taken by one man while it was parked and unattended on the street in front of the firehouse.

Surveillance video captured a CFD ambulance being stolen outside a fire station in Chinatown Monday afternoon.

During the theft, a bystander stops and does a double take as the driver pulls off. Officials said no one was in the ambulance when it was stolen.

The thief fled southbound in ambulance #66 onto the Stevenson Expressway, with police and Illinois State Police in pursuit, and eventually onto I-55 heading south into the southwest suburbs.

At one point police closed in on the tail and threw a rumble stick, flattening the back left tire though not enough to deter the driver.

Shortly before 6:20 p.m., somewhere south of Joliet, the ambulance slowed nearly to a stop and the driver appeared to be gesturing to and speaking with police out the window, before suddenly taking off again.

WATCH: Driver of stolen ambulance waves at police, appears to consider stopping

A man driving a stolen ambulance waved to police and nearly stopped before speeding off again.

Strips took out the ambulance's back driver's side tire but the chase continued on, with the bare rim smoking at times. By 6:30 p.m. the ambulance had made it nearly 80 miles southwest of the city, near Dwight, where the driver slowed to a stop and got out.

It briefly looked like the driver was going to surrender; he stepped over a fence divider between the highway and the grass median with a backpack and got onto his knees. There appeared to be an exchange of words with police and the suspect suddenly grabbed his backpack and took off on foot, running into the northbound lanes of I-55.

WATCH: Driver arrested for stealing ambulance after police chase

A man driving a stolen ambulance was arrested after trying to run away from the scene.

There he stopped a red truck hauling a trailer and attempted to get in the passenger door, but was unable to. He was then tackled by several officers and a K-9 unit and taken into custody on the side of the highway near the Streator-Kankakee exit.

The suspect was eventually taken away in an ambulance to Morris Hospital in Grundy County for evaluation. Charges are pending

Traffic was stopped in both directions on I-55 for a time after his arrest.

Chicago police are chasing a Chicago Fire Department ambulance that was stolen in Chinatown Monday afternoon.