Search Continues for Ambulance Thief


PANAMA CITY BEACH- First responders returned from a call around 9:40 Friday night, parking ambulance number 18 at the middle beach road substation behind Walmart.

Then 20 minutes later, they came out to respond to another call, but the ambulance was gone.

The ambulance was running and the doors were unlocked.

"The initial call came from EMS, from their radio to their communications officer which is stationed up at the EOC, which is a joint dispatch there. We have our communications officers there that are answering 911 calls and who are dispatching deputies to call and right next to them are the EMS dispatchers. So as soon as they were alerted our personal which then put out a bolo at the sheriff's office," said Major Tommy Ford, Bay County Sheriff's Officials.

"All my officers were looking for it, FHP, Panama City along with Walton County were looking for it. It was probably 40 or 50 officers looking for this ambulance," said Police Chief Drew Whitman, Panama City Beach.

Sheriff officials found the ambulance late Saturday afternoon after someone called Crimestoppers.

It was parked near the intersection of 7th avenue and Grace avenue.

"It was discovered that no items were taken from the ambulance with exception from the keys to the ambulance so it would suggest to me that the ambulance was used for transportation purposes from the beach to in town," said Whitman.

Apparently the crew kept the key to the ambulance's narcotics lock box.

Investigators are processed the vehicle for fingerprints and D-N-A.

They've also looked at surveillance video near the ambulance station, but that hasn't revealed anything.

We asked county officials if they intend to change any policies or procedures to help prevent this from happening again.

They say they are looking at those procedures, but refused to say what they're doing.

The person responsible will face official’s grand theft auto.

If anyone has any information, call the Bay County Sheriff's Office at 747-4700.


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