2 arrested after pursuit of wheelchair ambulance stolen from Melrose hospital

2 arrested after pursuit of wheelchair ambulance stolen from Melrose hospital

BOSTON — Two people have been arrested after a brief pursuit of a stolen wheelchair ambulance Thursday afternoon, according to Massachusetts State Police.

The van, a 2016 Ford Transit Van "chair car" owned by Armstrong Ambulance, was stolen sometime between 6:30 and 6:40 a.m. when it was parked outside Melrose-Wakefield Hospital, according to Melrose police.

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The van is a non-emergency vehicle used to transport patients in wheelchairs and has the Mass. Ambulance license plate 2744.

The van was at the hospital to pick up a patient who was discharged from the hospital when it was stolen, according to a news release, and no one was on the van and no medical equipment or drugs were on board.

State Police later said they had located the van after someone called when they spotted it on Route 1 in Peabody.

Police say they tried to stop the van but the driver refused to stop. That's when the pursuit started, which police say ended when the van crashed into a parked car.

During the investigation, police determined the two suspects shoplifted hundreds of dollars worth of men's clothing from the Kohl's in Saugus three hours after stealing the ambulance.

State Police say 22-year-old Daniel Walsh of Melrose was driving the ambulance during the pursuit. He has been charged with receiving a stolen motor vehicle, failure to stop for police, negligent operation of a motor vehicle, operating with a suspended license, committing a marked lanes violation, larceny, and shoplifting.

Nicholas Burke, 23 of Peabody, was also arrested and charged with receiving a stolen motor vehicle, larceny, and shoplifting.

State Police say Melrose Police will seek charges related to the theft of the ambulance.

Walsh and Burke will be arraigned Friday on the pursuit-related charges in Peabody District Court. They will then be summonsed to Lynn District for the shoplifting charges.

Both remain in state police custody and bail has not yet been set.