Thieves burglarize ambulance, light up joint inside
Police in the Central Valley city of Manteca were searching Monday for two thieves who stole heart medication and a hypodermic drill from an ambulance before smoking a joint and leaving the rig in smoky disarray.
"All of our equipment was out of place and upside down, and immediately we knew there was something going on," said paramedic Martin Ortiz.
He said he and his partner got a 911 call and needed the ambulance while the thieves were still rummaging around inside. Surveillance video shows Ortiz and his partner climbing inside the vehicle seconds after the thieves leave; they had to radio for another ambulance to cover the call.
"Compare that to someone going in the garage at your own personal home. We were seconds away from face-to-face contact. Who knows what could have happened from there?" Ortiz said.
Police said the heart medication taken from a supply bag and the drill don't have any street value. The narcotics aboard any ambulance are kept locked up in a strong box.
"It definitely did its job," said Ortiz, pointing to the still-locked safe in the ambulance the thieves entered.
In the surveillance video, the thieves can be seen tugging on the ambulance's computer, but that was locked down too. Frustrated, the thieves give up and light up a joint in the rig.