World Events

Fire engine stolen in Riverside as firefighters render aid

A thief stole a fire engine Thursday evening in Riverside, driving it about three miles before being apprehended by the police, according to the Riverside Fire Department.

Battalion Chief Bruce Vanderhorst said the department’s Engine 8 responded to a call for medical aid about 6 p.m. in the La Sierra neighborhood. As firefighters were assisting the patient, someone stole the engine, Vanderhorst said.

Authorities monitored the joyride, which spanned roughly three miles, using an onboard vehicle tracking system. Officers from the Riverside Police Department and the California Highway Patrol stopped the engine near the intersection of Adams Street and the 91 Freeway and detained the driver, whose name Vanderhorst did not know.

A spokesman for the Police Department didn’t immediately return messages.

No one was injured in the incident, although Vanderhorst said the thief may have sideswiped a car with the engine. The Fire Department plans to inspect the engine Friday for any damage.

“It’s a first for us,” Vanderhorst said. “I’ve never heard anything like it.”

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