A man has been charged with stealing a Chicago Fire Department ambulance Monday in the city's Chinatown neighborhood and leading police on a chase that lasted more than two hours.
According to police, Benjamin K. Herrington, 46, entered the ambulance around 4:40 p.m. as it sat empty, parked on the street outside a fire station in the 200 block of West Cermak Road.
Security footage from a nearby business shows the ambulance parked outside of the building, and in the very next frame the ambulance is gone.
Herrington then allegedly took the ambulance on a more than 70-mile ride before being taken into custody in a dramatic pursuit that lasted nearly two hours and shut down both sides of Interstate 55 in Livingston County.
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Illinois State Police remained in pursuit of the vehicle before it blew a tire and ultimately was stopped just short of exit 217 in Dwight.
Herrington, from Chicago, was charged with fleeing from police, resisting arrest and possession of a stolen vehicle, Illinois State Police said.
He was treated at a hospital and taken to Grundy County Jail, where’s he’s awaiting transfer to Cook County. Chicago police are the lead investigating agency, state police said.
In a statement, the Chicago Fire Department said it was thankful for the police agencies that helped “secure the ambulance and get the young man the help he needs without serious injury to himself or members of the public.”
CFD said it started an internal investigation and will take steps to prevent similar ambulance thefts in the future. CFD did not say if the ambulance was left running or unlocked.
The Chicago-Sun Times contributed to this report.