A 24-year-old local man in the Russian city of Izhevsk stole an ambulance from a car service, driving it around for two days before getting caught, police said on Thursday.
The man, whose name was withheld, picked an opportune moment for the carjacking, climbing into the freshly repaired vehicle left unguarded with keys in the ignition, police in the republic of Udmurtia in the Volga federal district said on their website.
The car theft took place on Monday, but was not discovered until Wednesday, when the medics were due to pick up their vehicle, the report said.
The car turned turned up in a nearby yard, where police staked out to apprehend the driver, who was caught with the car keys on him, the report said.
The man faces up to five years in prison over the incident. It remained unclear what prompted the theft, but the vehicle added 540 kilometers to the odometer, and the man’s cellphone had outgoing messages saying: “Doing side jobs with the ambulance.”
Police did not elaborate on the side jobs, but media previously reported that some ambulances in Moscow take passengers who are in a hurry, abusing their road privileges and getting through the country's massive traffic jams to ensure speedy delivery to their destination.