NY woman allegedly drives stolen ambulance into bay following police chase

NY woman allegedly drives stolen ambulance into bay following police chase

June 14, 2021

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New York state troopers have recovered a stolen ambulance that plunged into Irondequoit Bay after a lengthy pursuit Sunday, according to reports. 

Vanessa Armstead, 32, allegedly stole the vehicle in Utica during a post-shift cleaning at approximately 10:30 a.m. Kunkel Ambulence, which owns and operates the vehicle, immediately reported it stolen. 

“They had the ambulance in the bay completing that cleaning and getting ready to move the ambulance,” Kunkel spokeswoman Amanda Shells Jennings told Firehouse. “Somebody entered into the ambulance bay when the doors were opened and entered the ambulance.”

The Utica Police Department located Armstead using GPS, and she then led them on a 100-mile chase that lasted into the afternoon, WHAM reported. 

The chase ended when the vehicle crashed into the bay near the Newport Yacht Club. A passing boat picked up Armstead, after which police took her into custody. 

Woman charged with stealing Utica ambulance, crashing into Irondequoit Bay

The Monroe County Sheriff’s dive team and a towing company were able to recover the ambulance. Kunkel stated that it is likely the ambulance is a total loss following the incident. 

New York State Police have charged Armstead with second-degree criminal possession of stolen property, third-degree criminal trespass and two counts of second-degree criminal mischief. 

Police have not yet determined why Armstead allegdely stole the vehicle or eventually crashed it into the bay.  

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