Ambulances & Vehicle Ops, News

Mass. Police Charge Suspect in Armstrong Ambulance Transportation Van Theft

Police photo
Police in Melrose, Mass., say this Armstrong Ambulance was taken from outside a hospital yesterday.

MELROSE, Mass. – Police charged a man in connection with the theft of an Armstrong Ambulance transportation van outside a hospital yesterday.

Nicholas Burke, 23, of Peabody, faces a number of charges, including larceny of a motor vehicle.

Sometime after 6:30 a.m., police responded after an unoccupied Armstrong Ambulance 2016 Ford Transit Van was reported missing from outside the emergency department of Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, authorities said.

A review of hospital surveillance footage showed a man, identified as Burke, close the rear doors of the van before entering the vehicle and drive off, according to police.

Burke is also accused of dropping a bag containing a white powdery substance believed to be narcotics on the hospital floor as he was exiting the building, police said

Just before 1 p.m., a driver called Massachusetts State Police saying they spotted the stolen van on Route 1 in Peabody. A state trooper tried to pull the van over but Burke refused, police said

Police said the chase ended when the van struck a parked car and Burke and an unidentified woman were taken into custody.

The two are scheduled to be arraigned today in court on charges related to the pursuit. Burke also faces drug charges.

Authorities said the two also face charges related to a shoplifting incident earlier in the day but no details were released.