Mass. ambulance reported stolen recovered following police pursuit

The ambulance sustained a flat tire and crashed into an unoccupied Ford Explorer parked at an intersection


By Mike Gaffney
Wicked Local North, Danvers, Mass.

MELROSE, Mass — Two men are facing charges after crashing an ambulance allegedly stolen from Melrose-Wakefield Hospital that police say was used to shoplift hundreds of dollars worth of merchandise from the Saugus Kohl's.

A little before 1 p.m. on March 19, a motorist called State Police to report observing an Armstrong Ambulance wheelchair van on Route 1 South in Peabody that had been stolen from Melrose-Wakefield Hospital earlier that morning.

According to State Police, Trooper Martin Cooke located the ambulance on Lake Street and followed it as it turned onto Route 1 South.

Cooke activated his cruiser's emergency lights and tried to stop the ambulance, but the driver refused to stop, State Police said. He initiated a pursuit on Route 1 that continued onto Route 129, where police reported the ambulance passed vehicles as it tried to evade capture.

The ambulance sustained a flat tire and crashed into an unoccupied Ford Explorer parked at the intersection of Route 129 and Regina Road in Lynn, State Police reported.

Troopers arrested a male driver and male passenger.

A subsequent investigation determined that at 9:20 a.m. the two men shoplifted several hundred dollars worth of men's clothing from the Saugus Kohl's, State Police said. This merchandise was recovered in the ambulance.

The ambulance driver, Daniel Walsh, 22, of Melrose, was arrested and charged with receiving a stolen motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, operating with a suspended license, committing a marked lanes violation, larceny and shoplifting.

The passenger in the vehicle, Nicholas Burke, 23, of Peabody, was arrested and charged with receiving a stolen motor vehicle, larceny, and shoplifting.

Both suspects were expected to be arraigned on Friday at Peabody District Court and later summonsed to Lynn District Court on the shoplifting charges.

Melrose Police Chief Michael Lyle and Armstrong Ambulance CEO Richard Raymond reported that an Armstrong Ambulance 2016 Ford transit van went missing from outside the emergency department of Melrose-Wakefield Hospital between 6:30 and 6:40 a.m. Thursday.

The van had arrived to pick up a patient being discharged when an unknown suspect stole the vehicle.

No patients were onboard the van at the time, and no one was injured in the incident. Armstrong Ambulance officials have confirmed that no medications or medical equipment was on-board the "chair car" van at the time.

Melrose Police intend to seek charges related to ambulance theft, according to State Police.

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©2019 Wicked Local North, Danvers, Mass.

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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