Man stole ambulance as firefighters responded to medical call, police say

Officials say the man left the house firefighters were responding to and led police on a chase with the rig's lights activated


Alex Bruell
The Daily News, Longview, Wash.

COWLITZ COUNTY, Wash. — The Cowlitz County Sheriff’s Office on Friday night identified a man arrested for allegedly stealing a Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue ambulance and leading law enforcement on a chase down southbound Interstate 5.

Cody James Snow, 31, was held in the Cowlitz County jail as of Saturday on suspicion of a number of crimes related to the ambulance theft and for violating the terms of his probation on an unrelated offense.

Police say a man stole a Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue ambulance and led officers on a chase with the rig's lights activated. (Photo/Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office)
Police say a man stole a Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue ambulance and led officers on a chase with the rig's lights activated. (Photo/Cowlitz County Sheriff's Office)

Firefighters were responding to a house in the Lexington area around noon Friday for a report of breathing difficulties when Snow left the house, entered the unoccupied ambulance and drove away, according to a press release by the Sheriff’s Office.

The Cowlitz 2 crew reported the theft and several agencies — including the Washington State Patrol and the sheriff’s office — began chasing Snow, who refused to stop while driving at speeds of 80 to 90 mph on southbound I-5.

(The original Cowlitz 2 Fire & Rescue release alternatively refers to the vehicle as a medic unit.)

Snow “used all lanes of travel” and had the ambulance’s emergency lights activated, according to the sheriff’s office release. He drove over spike strips deployed by a Washington State Patrol officer, flattening all six tires of the vehicle.

The ambulance pulled into the median near milepost 24 and became stuck on BNSF railroad tracks. Snow, found inside, was not cooperative with deputies, who used police dog “Icarus” to bring him out of the ambulance.

The ambulance contained controlled medications as well as a wallet and credit cards belonging to a Cowlitz 2 employee. It has been taken out of service for repairs, the release said.

Snow was arrested and booked into the Cowlitz County jail on suspicion of theft of a motor vehicle, attempting to elude law enforcement officer, second-degree malicious mischief, second-degree theft, third-degree driving with a suspended license, escape from community custody and a felony drug charge.

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©2019 The Daily News, Longview, Wash.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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