Ambulance thief busted quickly because of Detroit’s new technology

Ambulance

Detroit police were able to track down a stolen ambulance and quickly capture the thief Tuesday night because the EMS rigs were recently equipped with GPS technology.

The new equipment, which was installed as part of Mayor Mike Duggan’s effort to reduce response times, helped police track the fleeing ambulance after it was stolen at 10:25 p.m. outside of Medic 1’s quarters at 8700 14th St. Using GPS, dispatchers directed police to the location of the ambulance. About 34 minutes later, police stopped the EMS rig and arrested the suspect, mayoral spokesman John Roach said Thursday morning.

“The ambulance was recovered, intact, without damage, and in a timely manner,” Roach said.

The GPS technology was installed to help the city reduce chronically slow response times.

Since Duggan took office in January, response times for city EMS runs have fallen from 18 minutes to 11 minutes, a remarkable 39% reduction, Roach said.

Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.