Driver leaves keys in ambulance, thief leads police on chase
December 10, 2018 10:10 PM
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – Ambulance workers failed to follow their own policy when they parked the vehicle outside Presbyterian Hospital back in September, which enabled a suspect to steal the ambulance and lead police on a chase through downtown Albuquerque, according to police records.
Police said David Neher stole an ambulance overnight on September 1 while it was parked outside of Presbyterian Hospital near Central and I-25.
Surveillance video showed the suspect walk into the hospital parking lot and drive-off in the ambulance.
Albuquerque police officers used spike strips to stop the stolen ambulance and eventually police shot Neher with a bean bag before officers arrested him.
4 Investigates has learned the ambulance workers responsible for the vehicle failed to follow their own company’s policy, potentially putting the public at risk.
Body-worn camera footage from the incident shows a manager for Albuquerque Ambulance Service speaking with an APD officer shortly after the suspect was apprehended.
The ambulance manager told police the ambulance crew had dropped a patient off at the hospital when the theft occurred.
The ambulance was unattended and unlocked with the keys left inside the vehicle, according to the manager.
In a statement, Albuquerque Ambulance Service Chief Scott Kasper called the incident “unfortunate and uncommon.”
“As a result, we have increased monitoring and spot checks of vehicles out in the field as well as re-educated staff on proper policy and procedure,” Kasper said.
As for the suspect accused of stealing the ambulance, court records reveal he has a long criminal history dating back to 2003. Neher has faced several previous charges including auto theft, assault and trespassing.
Neher has since pleaded not guilty to the crime of stealing the ambulance. He is due back in court in March.
Updated: December 10, 2018 10:10 PM
Created: December 10, 2018 09:13 PM
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