Man accused of stealing medical van in San Diego with patients still inside

Scripps Mercy Hospital
The driver of an American Medical Response van had stopped at Scripps Mercy Hospital to drop off a patient when the van was stolen.
(Howard Lipin / San Diego Union-Tribune)

A man who stole a medical van that was idling outside a hospital in San Diego’s Hillcrest neighborhood was arrested a short distance away while trying to ditch two patients who were still inside, police said.

The driver of the American Medical Response shuttle van had stopped at Scripps Mercy Hospital to drop off one of three patients when the incident occurred about 6:20 p.m. Monday, San Diego police Sgt. Jordan Wells said.

After escorting the patient into the hospital, the driver came outside and saw the van being driven off.

Wells said that officers located the van and the thief — who was trying to drop off the remaining patients, both in their 60s — about five blocks away from the hospital.


A 31-year-old man was arrested and booked into jail on suspicion of motor vehicle theft, kidnapping, elder abuse and driving under the influence.

Winkley writes for the San Diego Union-Tribune.