| 0.8°C Dublin

hunger pangs Man charged after stealing ambulance and going to fast food drive-through


Renaldo Dechaume Leonard

Renaldo Dechaume Leonard

Renaldo Dechaume Leonard

Police in Texas have arrested a man who stole an ambulance before driving to a fast food restaurant to place an order. 

Officers arrested the man at the Ludington Drive branch of Jack in the Box in Houston on Thursday.

The Houston Police Department said the man got into the ambulance and drove off while Houston Fire Department responders were on a call at an apartment building nearby.

The man, who has been identified as Renaldo Dechaume Leonard (36) jumped into the ambulance and sped off, police said.

According to officers, they tracked the ambulance down at a Jack in the Box on South Post Oak and West Orem with the emergency lights still on while going through the drive-through.

Police said Leonard was taken into custody and has been charged with felony theft.

A tweet posted by the Houston Police Department read: "Southwest patrol and CST officers just recovered a stolen ambulance S. Post Oak and W. Orem. Paramedics were on a call when male jumped in and drove off.

"Officers tracked the ambulance to a fast food outlet where the driver was at the drive up ordering food with emergency lights."

The police said the suspect was taken into custody without incident and the incident is under investigation.

It is not the first time that an ambulance in Texas has been targeted, after a man stole one from outside a hospital because he needed to get food and cigarettes.

The suspect, who was not named but described as being in his sixties, took the vehicle from the Cypress Creek Hospital, a psychiatric facility in Houston in 2019.

According to police, the man got into the ambulance and drove off while the responders were busy.

He was found by Harris County Sheriff's Office deputies at a gas station.

Officials said the ambulance had been left with its engine running outside the hospital, where the man is believed to have once been a patient.

When deputies asked him why he had stolen the vehicle the suspect claimed he "needed a ride." Inside, officers found the man had obtained fried chicken from KFC and cigarettes.

That same year, a 29-year-old woman was arrested in Florida for allegedly stealing an ambulance before crashing into a police car after a short pursuit.

Online Editors

Top Videos