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Wash. fire truck stolen during EMS call

Vancouver paramedics were treating a patient when their squad was stolen and later abandoned


Vancouver Fire Department Squad 1.

Vancouver Police Department

By Maxine Bernstein

VANCOUVER, Wash. — A 33-year-old man was found sleeping on a couch inside a stranger’s home after he allegedly stole a fire truck in Vancouver on Monday night and abandoned it in Albany on Tuesday morning, according to Vancouver police and the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

Alex Joseph Doupe, 34, of Vancouver was arrested and accused of unlawful use of a vehicle, interfering with a firefighter and first-degree criminal trespass.

Doupe also is wanted on a warrant in Washington County on allegations of criminal trespass, harassment and disorderly conduct stemming from a 2021 case.

The Vancouver Fire Squad 1 Dodge truck disappeared from the scene of a medical call as paramedics were treating a patient about 10:30 p.m. Monday in the area of West Mill Plain Boulevard and Kauffman Avenue.

The theft of the truck prompted an extensive search by Vancouver police and Clark County sheriff’s deputies.

Washington State Patrol officers reported spotting the truck on a freeway camera crossing into Oregon about five minutes after it was stolen, police said.

About 5 a.m. Tuesday, the truck was discovered abandoned in Albany on Columbus Street, near the intersection of Old Highway 34, according to Linn County Sheriff Michelle Duncan.

About three hours later, a resident from the Albany area alerted the sheriff’s office to a stranger sleeping on their couch.

Deputies located Doupe, who admitted to stealing the fire truck and taking it for a ride into Oregon, according to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

There appeared to be no damage to the truck or any equipment missing from it, according to the Linn County Sheriff’s Office.

Doupe was booked into the Linn County Jail. The fire truck was towed from the road to an evidence lot in Albany until Vancouver firefighters can retrieve it.

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