The Waffle House is in a busy commercial area just south of I-75. According to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office, Bryant drove the vehicle south on I-75 all the way to the I-475 split, about 40 miles. During the chase, the sheriff’s office said she was driving 86 to 88 mph.
Bryant continued south on I-475, where deputies used deflation devices to blow two of the ambulance’s tires, the sheriff’s office said. She continued for another mile before she lost control of the ambulance, stopped and ran away. She was taken into custody after a brief search.
Bryant was booked into the Monroe jail and faces one misdemeanor count of fleeing or attempting to elude along with multiple traffic offenses in that county, the sheriff’s office said. According to the McDonough police report, she will also be charged with motor vehicle theft and obstruction of an emergency medical technician. She remains in jail without bond.
Ambulance theft is a surprisingly common issue that has forced multiple agencies around the country to address the risk with technology and policy changes. Despite the high likelihood that thieves will be arrested and face serious felony charges, some people “are lured into the ‘joyride’ aspect” of the crime, according to Ohio Ambulance, an independent company.
Even more serious charges could be levied against ambulance thieves if investigators find that they were attempting to steal narcotics or use the vehicle for terroristic purposes, the company said. A recent case in South Carolina led officials to charge a suspected ambulance thief with attempted murder after he allegedly drove the vehicle toward a sheriff setting up “stop sticks.”