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Stolen ambulance recovered

By Halle Parker & Jordan Miles

A Charlotte County ambulance — allegedly stolen Thursday by a 32-year-old Keysville resident and patient at Centra Southside Community Hospital in Farmville — has been recovered by police.

According to a press release from Farmville Police, authorities responded to the hospital, located at 800 Oak St., for a report that a person had left the emergency room and “stole an ambulance belonging to the Charlotte County Volunteer Rescue Squad.”

According to the release, the ambulance was quickly spotted by a Farmville police officer at the intersection of Griffin Boulevard and Oak Street, where the officer attempted to conduct a traffic stop. “However, the vehicle failed to stop and continued south on Griffin Boulevard at normal traffic speeds. The vehicle was eventually stopped near the intersection of South Main Street and Gilliam Drive, approximately one mile from the hospital.”

The suspect was taken into custody without incident, police said. No damage to the ambulance was reported.

Assisted by the Prince Edward County Sheriff’s Office and the Longwood University Police Department, Farmville Police stopped the ambulance beside Rite Aid Pharmacy along South Main Street, according to Charlotte County Rescue Squad Captain Bill Mayhew.

Mayhew said the incident occurred around 6:30 p.m. While the rescue crew on duty checked in a different patient at the hospital, the suspect ran past the crew in the emergency room to the ambulance and “took off,” Mayhew said.

According to Mayhew, a crewmember chased the ambulance, trying to get the suspect to stop before leaving the parking lot. The crew called Farmville Police after the ambulance left the property.

When the Farmville Police Department caught the suspect, Mayhew said, the patient told the police he was going home.

“The rescue squad has been in Charlotte County for 46 years, and this was the first time it happened,” said Mayhew.

The rescue squad captain said the squad will press charges, and the Farmville Police Department could have its own charges after the commonwealth’s attorney reviews the incident.

“No one got hurt; that’s the most important part,” said Mayhew.

“A 32-year-old male from Keysville … was identified as the driver of the ambulance and found to be possibly suffering from a mental health crisis,” the release stated. “The man was returned to Centra Southside Community Hospital where evaluators eventually sought a Temporary Detention Order from a magistrate. The individual was then transported to the John Randolph Medical Center in Hopewell … by the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office for further evaluation. The case remains under investigation, and police will consult with the Prince Edward Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office to determine what, if any, criminal charges are appropriate.”