EMSA Used GPS To Track Stolen Ambulance Friday

Monday, February 28th 2011, 6:37 pm
By: News On 6

Emory Bryan, News On 6

TULSA, Oklahoma – A GPS unit helped track down a stolen EMSA ambulance over the weekend.

Police arrested two men after a short chase Friday night. EMSA says the ambulance was running and might have been unlocked when it was taken.

They track all their trucks with GPS, so they were able to catch up with it quickly. Tulsa Police caught up with a stolen EMSA ambulance less than 20 minutes after it was reported missing.

They arrested two men at the scene. Police say 19-year-old Casey Sheldon Rowe was the driver.

02/26/2011 Related Story: Two Arrested For Stealing Ambulance From Tulsa QuikTrip Parking Lot

Police say he could face charges for theft of the ambulance, possession of marijuana, and attempting to elude police during a short chase.

"A very low speed chase because of the vehicle they stole. They wound through some neighborhood streets, and ended up here at the Sinclair at Mohawk and Lewis," said TPD Cpl. Darren Bristow.

Police also arrested 39-year-old Jason Williams at the scene, but say he was just along for the ride, and according to EMSA, the stolen ambulance stopped to pick up the passenger.

They know that because the 911 Center tracks ambulances in real time, and the information was relayed to police.

"Every 2 to 3 seconds it updates, tells us the speed and direction. So if you think ahead a little bit, you'll know where they're supposed to be in 2 or 3 seconds," said Sean Ellston, EMSA dispatcher.

The ambulance was taken while it was parked, waiting for a call, outside this QuikTrip at 46th Street North and Lewis.

The two crew members had gone inside the store. The QuikTrip is a parking spot for EMSA, where the standard practice is to always leave the engine running, whether or not anyone is inside.

"Being that we might have to respond to an emergency at a moments notice, the vehicles are always running so that's not uncommon. It's unknown whether the unit was locked and secure or whether the suspect somehow got around the mechanism and gained access to the unit," said Chris Stevens, EMSA PIO.

EMSA says the ambulance wasn't damaged and nothing was taken. Tulsa Police records show the man accused of stealing the ambulance did not have a driver's license.