San José, Costa Rica, since 1956
Crime Beat

Boozy bandit tries to steal $50,000 ambulance in Costa Rica

The thought of the holidays might drive some to drink but drinking and stealing an ambulance?

Costa Rican police arrested an apparently intoxicated man in Cartago after he stole an ambulance while paramedics were attending to a patient in the early hours of Wednesday morning, according to a statement from the Public Security Ministry.

The suspect, identified by the last name Gamboa, evidently needed some liquid courage before going through with what all parties involved must have agreed was pretty low.

Weird news

According to Red Cross spokesman Gerald Jiménez, two paramedics were attending a call near the Cartago cemetery, located 25 kilometers southeast of Costa Rica’s capital, San José, when Gamboa – who reportedly “smelled strongly of liquor” – made off with the ambulance. Jiménez said the ambulance was valued at roughly $35,000 with another $15,000 worth of equipment on board.

Paramedics called another ambulance immediately after the theft. The patient, who was being treated for a heart attack, died but his death was not related to the car theft, Jiménez said.

Thankfully, a third ambulance did not have to be dispatched because police stopped the boozy bandit before he could drive the truck more than 300 meters. The police report said Gamboa’s nephew, with the surname Guzmán, was following the ill-conceived hot wheels in another car. Both were detained and transferred to a flagrancy court.

The ambulance was recovered in good condition.

Contact Zach Dyer at zdyer@ticotimes.net

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