Police chase stolen CFD ambulance 80 miles downstate and arrest driver

A man stole a Chicago Fire Department ambulance Monday afternoon in Chinatown and led police on an 80-mile chase downstate before he was arrested, police said.

He entered the ambulance as it sat empty, parked on the street outside a fire station in the 200 block of West Cermak Road around 4:40 p.m., Chicago police said.

Officers pursued the ambulance down Interstate 55 as the driver sped away in excess of 70 mph. About two hours later, a tire on the ambulance blew out and the driver tried to run away, according to news reports.

He was arrested with the aid of a police dog near the interstate at IL-17, near downstate Dwight. No charges have been announced.

In a statement, the Chicago Fire Department said it was thankful for the police agencies that helped “secure the ambulance and get the young man the help he needs without serious injury to himself or members of the public.”

The Fire Department did not say if the ambulance was left running or unlocked.

CFD said it started an internal investigation and will take steps to prevent similar ambulance thefts in the future.

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