CONNELLSVILLE (KDKA) — CONNELLSVILLE (KDKA) — Police say a man stole an ambulance and led authorities on a chase.

Investigators believe 43-year-old David M. Wilson, Sr., of Republic, was intoxicated.

He was being treated at Highlands Hospital for mental health problems when he walked out of the emergency room and jumped into an unlocked ambulance that was left running.

The ambulance had a vehicle locater and was easily found six miles away on Route 201. Wilson caused about $3,000 to $5,000 in damages.

“For a stolen vehicle and then someone in custody in 12 minutes so police did a great job,” Rick Adobato, of Fayette County EMS, said.

After police arrested Wilson, he was taken back to Highlands Hospital.

Adobato says employees usually remove the keys and lock their vehicles and will stress that point again.

Connellsville Police Chief James Capitos says the outcome could have been much worse.

“Aside from actually stealing the ambulance, this thing is equipped for advanced life support – somebody could have needed it, somebody could have been seriously hurt,” he said.

Wilson is in the Fayette County Jail on charges of diving under the influence, criminal mischief and a host of traffic violations.

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