Police: Drunken man hijacks ambulance to go holiday shopping

Walter Campbell allegedly told police he had some Christmas money and wanted to go shopping but did not want to walk

By EMS1 Staff

ATHENS, Ga. — A man who police said tried to steal an ambulance apparently wanted to take the rig to go holiday shopping.

FOX5 Atlanta reported that a North Georgia Medical Transport mechanic was working on the ambulance when he stepped away for a few minutes, according to police.

"He was servicing one of the ambulances, walked away for a short period of time and could hear the rear beeping sounds as if the ambulance was backing up,” Athens-Clarke County Police spokesman Epifanio Rodriguez said.

The mechanic said he yelled at the man, Walter Campbell, to get out of the ambulance, and Campbell got out and began walking away until police intercepted him. Officers said Campbell was extremely cooperative and said he was only trying to steal the ambulance to go holiday shopping.

"He said he was going to go Christmas shopping. He's got some Christmas money. He wanted to go Christmas shopping and he didn't want to walk," a responding officer said.

Campbell was filmed on an officer's body cam saying he had been drinking, and police said Campbell was holding an open beer when they arrived.

"How many beers to do you think you had to drink today?" an officer asked.

"That's my third one," Campbell said.

Campbell was arrested and charged with felony theft by taking, DUI and open container.

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