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Vandals put pair of ambulances out of service

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POSTED November 3, 2012 2:02 a.m.

Two Manteca ambulances were compromised by thieves in the garage facility at 245 East Center Street late Friday night with one being forced to “stand down” for an emergency call of a man having trouble breathing at the Western Trailer Park in the 1000 block of West Yosemite Avenue.

As the ambulance crew was getting into their rig at about 9:45 p.m., they first noticed the keys had been removed from the ignition.  Upon further checking of their Unit 50, they discovered medical bags had been turned upside down with heart medications missing from their inventory.

The ambulance dispatcher alerted a third unit stationed in Lathrop that they needed to take the call code 3, further delaying the time it would take an ambulance to reach the scene.

Ambulance personnel said that there were three individuals involved in the thefts that might also be described as malicious mischief.   The thieves reportedly had been wearing hoodies and apparently left the garage when the crew was heard coming out the office door to respond to the emergency.

The Lathrop ambulance responded from McKinley and Louise avenues with the first ambulance having been only about 10 blocks away from the stricken individual.

The police and ambulance officials were taking a complete inventory of medical supplies in both ambulances at press time to determine what actual drugs were taken in addition to the heart meds.

A reward up to $1,000 is being offered by South County Crime Stoppers for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the parties responsible. The anonymous tip line is 823-INFO.

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