Man Arrested for Stealing an Ambulance and Going on Joyride
Photo: Courtesy of American Medical Response
Written By: Robert l. McCullough
Emergency medical vehicles are not generally considered transportation “of choice” as they’re either on their way to the scene of a medical crisis or they’re headed to a hospital emergency room. As readily-identifiable, emblazoned with eye-catching colorful paint jobs and flashing lights aft and forward, to the reasonable mind the choice of an ambulance for a joyride would be a poor one.
Apparently that never entered the mind of 44-year-old Santa Barbara area transient Jacob Martin Barrios on the night of August 27th . It was just after 10:00 p.m. that Saturday night when dispatch operators at the Santa Barbara Police Department were informed that an American Medical Response vehicle had suddenly gone missing from the parking lot of the Hilton Santa Barbara Beachfront Resort Hotel.
According to SBPD spokesman Sgt. Ethan Ragsdale, responding patrol units quickly accessed “the GPS device on the ambulance” which was activated and began providing “real-time tracking” of the vehicle. With that technology at hand, it didn’t take long for the cops to locate the stolen ambulance as it cruised along a downtown Santa Barbara street. A “high risk” traffic stop was summarily conducted, whereupon contact with Barrios was made and he was taken into custody.
Barrios was then transported to Santa Barbara County Jail, where he was booked on a no-bail hold and charged with felony vehicle theft, driving on a suspended license, and “several criminal enhancements.”