Man arrested after Chicago ambulance stolen, police chase vehicle on I-55

A man was taken into custody Monday after leading police on a chase in a stolen Chicago ambulance.

Chicago police said around 4:40 p.m. Monday, the Chicago Fire Department ambulance was parked on a Chinatown street in the 200 block of West Cermak Road when an unknown offender jumped in and took off.

Officials with Illinois State Police confirm no passengers or patients were inside the ambulance at the time of the incident.

CFD Ambulance 66 is assigned to the firehouse located on the corner of Cermak Road and Wentworth Avenue.

The driver of the stolen ambulance led police on a chase on southbound Interstate 55 for nearly two hours.


The pursuit spanned more than 70 miles, ending near the village of Dwight. After riding on a rim for quite some time, the vehicle finally came to a stop around 6:30 p.m. near milepost 217.  

It appeared the man was going to surrender, but then took off on-foot. He ran across the median of the interstate, and into oncoming traffic on I-55 before being tackled by officers and taken into custody in the northbound lanes.

Both the northbound and southbound lanes of I-55 were shut down near milepost 217 as police investigated, officials with ISP said.

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.

The Sun-Times Media Wire contributed to this report.