VOTE NOW: Final Quarter Friday Night Favorite
Latest Updates: Mendocino Complex Fires Force Evacuations
Live Blog: Carr Fire Claims Lives, Destroys Homes Shasta County

Thieves Burglarize Ambulance, Light Up a Joint Inside

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.


The man in the surveillance video, getting into the ambulance, isn’t a paramedic and he’s not a driver. He’s a thief.

“All of our equipment was out-of-place and upside down, and immediately we knew there was something going on,” said Martin Ortiz.

Ortiz is a paramedic. In fact, he and his partner got a 9-1-1 call and needed the ambulance while the thieves were still rummaging around inside. In the surveillance, you can see Ortiz and his partner climbing inside the rig seconds after the thieves leave.

“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 wondered aloud.

But here’s the ludicrous aspect of the whole incident: the stuff the thieves stole, heart medication from a supply bag and a hypodermic drill — none of it has 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, you can se the thieves tugging on the ambulance’s computer. But hat’s locked-down too. Frustrated, and clearly not all the bright, the thieves give-up and light-up. They smoke a joint in the rig, leaving it a cloudy wreck.

So Ortiz and his partner had to radio for another ambulance to cover their 9-1-1 call.

“Immediate frustration. Immediate frustration,” is how Ortiz describes the moment.

But a less than immediate response to man who dialed 9-1-1. Fox40 spoke with that man. He did not want to be identified, but said he is a an army veteran. He has two shattered vertebrae, and made the emergency call because he was having trouble breathing.

Despite the delay, he was able to get treatment a timely manner.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s


  • Angel

    I can not tell you how many times I have told ambulance medics to lock their rigs! Even if they are outside a faculty for a minute! Well guys, this is why ARGH!

  • Squad_51

    Criminals are criminals….if not through a locked door they will break a window….if not through a broken window they will pop the trunk……Great Job Manteca Paramedics! You were calm, cool, and collective while ensuring the patient was attended to by the next closest ambulance!