CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Charlotte-Mecklenburg Police arrested a 36-year-old woman Thursday night on charges that she stole an ambulance from Carolinas Medical Center.
Security cameras caught Autumn Prieschl getting behind the wheel of Ambulance #47 around 10 p.m. Thursday. Sources say the woman wasn't high, mentally unstable or sick, only that she said she needed a ride.
"The new society of anything goes, what's the worst that's going to happen," said Tammy King, a concerned resident who has had to be transported before.
Officials with MEDIC say that some of their people spotted her hanging out near the emergency entrance but didn't give it much thought. Fortunately #47 was empty.
"Very important she had a destination. I don't know if that was her job or perhaps she was picking up a car, that is pretty wacky," said Mike Pitkowitz, who heard about the case.
All of MEDIC's trucks are equipped with GPS trackers, so police knew right away where the ambulance was and they made a traffic stop in the 11600 block of Albemarle Road.
"I think it would be very reckless, immature and selfish; there are a lot of other people who could possibly need that ambulance," said Tracey Bastys.
A MEDIC spokesman said that fortunately, they had 30 trucks covering Charlotte the theft didn't affect service.
He said that crews often leave the keys in their trucks and leave them running so they can respond to an emergency quickly.
Prieschl has been charged with larceny of a motor vehicle and trespassing.