Woman arrested after stolen ambulance joy ride

TOLEDO, OH (Toledo News Now) - Toledo police said we may never know why Jessica Manns, 32, stole an ambulance from Mercy St. Vincent's and took it for a joyride.

Manns was arrested Friday night for taking the Life Star Ambulance out of the Emergency Room parking lot.

"In the 15 years that I've been in the police department, this is the first I know of an ambulance being stolen. It is kind of unusual. I think it was just one of those crimes of opportunity," said Sgt. Joe Heffernan, with the Toledo Police Department.

At about seven p.m., the Life Star ambulance was in the middle of an emergency run. A Mercy spokesperson said the keys were still in the ignition, and the ambulance was running.

"It's common practice to keep those machines running," Heffernan said.

Police said Mann hopped into the ambulance at this time and drove off, nearly hitting a person standing in the parking lot.

"It could have been a dangerous scene," Heffernan said.

St. V's security flagged down an officer to tell them what happened, and a few minutes later, they spotted the ambulance near Phillips and Detroit. The officers attempted to stop the driver.

"The ambulance did continue on for some time, continuing to stop and then go again," Heffernan said.

Police said Manns took the Phillips entrance to southbound I-75. She stopped for police shortly after. Police took Manns into custody.

"She wasn't exactly very cooperative or very easy to understand," Heffernan said.

A Mercy spokesperson said the vehicle was not damaged, and was actually still used later that evening. There were no narcotics in the ambulance, and nothing was taken.

Still, Heffernan said the situation was risky. "It's a big heavy vehicle. It's got lots of equipment in it. It's worth a lot of money."

Mercy said they will review their policies to see if anything needs to be changed.

Mann was scheduled for her arraignment Monday morning. The arraignment was continued to Tuesday at 9 a.m. Mann is charged grand theft, felonious assault and speeding.

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