A fully marked paramedic unit may have been stolen from Taylor Hospital, in Ridley Park, early Saturday by a man who'd simply missed his bus.
"Looks like the guy may have just needed a ride," said Ridley Park Police Chief Tom Byrne.
The vehicle, an advanced life-support unit, was left running outside of the emergency room about 2:45 a.m., police said.
A white man, about 5 feet 5 who was wearing black shorts, white sneakers, a white tank top and sunglasses, had entered the hospital just before the vehicle was stolen to ask for a bus schedule and to inquire what time the buses stopped running, Byrne said.
Police are calling that man, who was captured on surveillance video, a "person of interest."
About 11 p.m. Saturday, Ridley Park police received several calls that the paramedic unit was parked across from a halfway house in Southwest Philadelphia, Byrne said. Philadelphia Police were also tipped off to its location by an off-duty SEPTA cop who drove by it. The vehicle was recovered, with nothing but the keys and the driver's personal GPS unit missing, Byrne said.
"That's lucky," he said. "There's a lot of stuff that could have been taken that could have been a real disaster."
Though it does not transport patients, the vehicle is a paramedic unit equipped with defibrillators, drugs and other expensive equipment used to assist workers at an accident or the scene of a medical emergency, Byrne said.