Prosecutors: Wis. man 'highly intoxicated' when he stole ambulance
Police officers found the ambulance was missing from the bay and a rescue worker found a T-shirt and iPhone near where the vehicle had been parked
By Jonah Beleckis
The Janesville Gazette, Wis.
WHITEWATER, Wis. — A shirtless, “highly intoxicated” man stole a Whitewater Rescue ambulance parked at the fire department and knocked over a sign, according to a criminal complaint filed in Walworth County Court.
Prosecutors charged Andrew A. Dufek, 21, of 956 W. Conger St., Whitewater, on July 2 with burglary and operating a motor vehicle without the owner’s consent.
At about 1:50 a.m. June 26, Whitewater police saw an ambulance with its engine running in the parking lot of Second Salem Brewing Co., which was closed.
Officers knew of no recent rescue calls, but they had heard about an ambulance driving downtown without operating headlights or taillights, according to the complaint.
Then a shirtless Dufek came “stumbling” from the Second Salem patio area, the complaint states.
An officer checked the fire department's ambulance bay on West Whitewater Street and found an ambulance was missing, according to the complaint. A rescue worker found a T-shirt and iPhone near where the stolen ambulance had been parked.
Surveillance footage from the city’s municipal building shows Dufek banging on a police department door several times, the complaint states. He then walked to the bay and entered a door.
“It appeared that the defendant simply opened the door and walked in the building,” the complaint states.
Shortly after that, the footage shows an ambulance driving out.
A mirror on the ambulance was bent and missing some glass, which was later found on the road near a sign that appeared to have been knocked down in the 100 block of West Whitewater Street, the complaint states.
Dufek said he had been drinking at a Whitewater bar and at his home. He denied taking the ambulance or going into the bay but admitted the T-shirt and phone found in the bay were his, the complaint states.
A judge set a signature bond for Dufek on June 26, court records show.
He also faces charges of second-offense intoxicated driving and operating while revoked.
He is scheduled for an adjourned initial appearance in court at 1:15 p.m. Friday, July 26.
©2019 The Janesville Gazette (Janesville, Wis.)