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Thieves burglarize ambulance, light up a joint inside

Thieves burglarize ambulance, light up a joint inside

POSTED: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 1:00am

UPDATED: Tuesday, November 6, 2012 - 1:04am

The man in the surveillance video, getting into the ambulance, isn't a paramedic and he's not a driver. He's a thief.

"All of our equipment was out-of-place and upside down, and immediately we knew there was something going on," said Martin Ortiz.

Ortiz is a paramedic. In fact, he and his partner got a 9-1-1 call and needed the ambulance while the thieves were still rummaging around inside. In the surveillance, you can see Ortiz and his partner climbing inside the rig seconds after the thieves leave.

"Compare that to someone going in the garage at your own personal home. We were seconds away from face-to-face contact. Who knows what could have happened from there?" Ortiz wondered aloud.

But here's the ludicrous aspect of the whole incident: the stuff the thieves stole, heart medication from a supply bag and a hypodermic drill – none of it has any street value. The narcotics aboard any ambulance are kept locked-up in a strong box.

"It definitely did its job," said Ortiz, pointing to the still-locked safe in the ambulance the thieves entered.

In the surveillance, you can se the thieves tugging on the ambulance's computer. But hat's locked-down too. Frustrated, and clearly not all the bright, the thieves give-up and light-up. They smoke a joint in the rig, leaving it a cloudy wreck.

So Ortiz and his partner had to radio for another ambulance to cover their 9-1-1 call.

"Immediate frustration. Immediate frustration," is how Ortiz describes the moment.

But a less than immediate response to man who dialed 9-1-1. Fox40 spoke with that man. He did not want to be identified, but said he is a an army veteran. He has two shattered vertebrae, and made the emergency call because he was having trouble breathing.

Despite the delay, he was able to get treatment a timely manner.

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