Man's surprising answer to why he allegedly stole NY ambulance

“I took the ambulance, and I don’t remember why I did it,” a criminal complaint quotes Jaime Rivera-Juarez as telling cops when he was arrested


By Frank Donnelly
Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — It’s not every day that someone steals an ambulance.

And you might imagine they’d have a pretty good reason if they did.

Rivera-Juarez, 45, was charged with grand larceny and stolen-property possession stemming from the June 17 incident. (Photo/Richmond Medical Center)
Rivera-Juarez, 45, was charged with grand larceny and stolen-property possession stemming from the June 17 incident. (Photo/Richmond Medical Center)

Not so for one West Brighton resident who’s accused of driving off with an unoccupied, idling ambulance outside Richmond University Medical Center three weeks ago.

“I took the ambulance, and I don’t remember why I did it,” a criminal complaint quotes Jaime Rivera-Juarez as telling cops when he was arrested Thursday.

Rivera-Juarez, 45, of Barker Street, was charged with grand larceny and stolen-property possession stemming from the June 17 incident.

The alleged theft occurred around 12:12 a.m. said a criminal complaint.

A police spokesman said cops were notified at about 12:30 a.m. that the vehicle, a 2009 Ford, was stolen from the hospital’s emergency room parking lot at the rear of 355 Bard Ave. in West Brighton, the Advance previously reported.

The key had been left in the ignition, and the engine was running, the spokesman said.

A review of the hospital’s surveillance system depicted a male wearing all black entering the ambulance and driving away, said the spokesman.

The vehicle was found unoccupied later on Cebra Avenue near Chester Place in Tompkinsville, the spokesman said.

The ambulance was tracked to that location by its GPS system, police said.

Afterward, a Richmond University spokesman told the Advance the hospital was conducting a full internal investigation, and thanked police for quickly recovering the vehicle.

Rivera-Juarez was busted based on a police probe and review of the surveillance videotape, said the complaint.

He was arraigned Friday in Criminal Court and released under supervision.

The defendant’s next court date is Sept. 18.

His lawyer did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment.

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©2019 Staten Island Advance, N.Y.

 

McClatchy-Tribune News Service

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