If you want to steal a car, you should probably steal an inconspicuous one.  However that bit of knowledge was apparently lost on a thief or thieves who, on Saturday, Dec. 7, stole an ambulance from Wesley Long Hospital in Greensboro.

After the ambulance was taken – fortunately with no patients or medical personnel on board – the Guilford County Sheriff’s Office, Greensboro Police Department and the North Carolina Highway Patrol were all instantly on the case and they were able to quickly recover the ambulance, which was found around 7:45 p.m. south of the hospital near I-85 Business.   

According to information from Guilford County Emergency Services, at no time did the theft of the ambulance affect response times to 911 calls. The ambulance was being operated by Piedmont Triad Ambulance and Rescue – a non-profit organization that’s under contract with Guilford County to transport convalescent patients and handle other non-emergency calls.

County Emergency Director Jim Albright said that, by contract, all ambulances operated for the county by Piedmont Triad Ambulance and Rescue must have “AVL” – a location technology that reveals a vehicle’s location at any time.

This isn’t the first time this year an ambulance has been stolen in the state.  Last summer, an ambulance belonging to the Dallas Rescue Squad, operating near Gastonia, was nabbed and taken for a short joy ride.  In that case, a 29-year-old man was arrested.  That ambulance was also found easily due to the on-board GPS equipment that told authorities exactly where the ambulance was at all times.