Man steals EMS Task Force vehicle from display at N.J. EMS conference

Patrick Ford, 31, stole the vehicle while it was on display for the New Jersey Emergency Preparedness Association

Jeff Goldman

A man allegedly stole an EMS Task Force vehicle from a staging area at a convention for emergency responders and took it for a ride in Atlantic City on Monday, damaging parked cars before abandoning it on the Boardwalk, authorities said.

Patrick Ford, 31, of Clementon, was arrested Tuesday and charged with theft and two counts of criminal mischief, Atlantic City police said. A sergeant spotted Ford near the corner Arkansas Avenue on the Atlantic City Boardwalk with the help of a flyer that police distributed containing a surveillance photo, authorities said.

Police say Ford swiped the emergency off-road vehicle from a parking lot at Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City around 9:30 p.m. Monday and crashed into several parked vehicles and other objects with its lights and sirens activated. He then allegedly drove through a gate and onto the Boardwalk at Dr. Martin Luther King Boulevard. Ford’s ride ended when he parked the vehicle near Iowa Avenue and walked away, police said.

The New Jersey Emergency Preparedness Association held its annual conference at the Harrah’s from Sunday through Wednesday. A vehicle display was held in an outdoor lot at Harrah’s on Monday.

An Atlantic City police spokesman described the EMS Task Force Vehicle as, “a response vehicle for a large incident,” but didn’t have more specific information about its size or weight. Lt. Kevin Fair said police are investigating how Ford got the vehicle started, but said he is not an EMT or a first-responder.

Additional charges are pending.

Anyone with additional information is asked to call Atlantic City police at 609-347-5766. Information can be texted to tip411 (847411). Begin the text with ACPD. All texts are anonymous.


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