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Man released from Mesa hospital steals ambulance, says it was too hot to walk

Todd Tanner Shell, 37, told police he intended to return the ambulance.
Todd Tanner Shell, 37, was arrested Tuesday July 24 for stealing an ambulance from Banner Desert Hospital. Photo: MCSO

MESA, Ariz. — Police arrested a man Tuesday after he took off in an ambulance from Banner Desert Hospital.

Todd Tanner Shell, 37, was released from the hospital Tuesday morning when he stole the ambulance, police said. Shell told police he thought it was too hot to walk home from the hospital so when he found an ambulance running in the bay of the hospital, he decided to take it.

To be fair, it was 116 degrees in Phoenix Tuesday, making it the hottest day of the year so far.

According to police, the ambulance was running because paramedics were dropping off another patient at the time.

Officers with the Mesa Police Department located the ambulance driving eastbound on the US 60. Mesa officers and DPS troopers tried to pull Shell over, but he continued driving at normal speeds. Eventually, Shell exited the freeway and stopped near Val Vista and University drives.

Shell told police he intended to return the ambulance. The ambulance was not damaged and returned to service.