Woman steals ambulance, leads officers on chase in Visalia, police say


VISALIA, California. (KSEE/KGPE) – A woman was arrested after she crashed a stolen ambulance while leading officers on a chase on Monday, according to the Visalia Police Department.

Around 3:30 p.m., officers were called out to the area of Noble Avenue and Tipton Street to help an EMS crew out at the scene of a medical aid call.

Before officers could arrive, police say 38-year-old Mariah Chaffin stole an ambulance that had been left running.

Officers spotted the ambulance with its lights and sirens activated as it was driving away and tried to pull it over, but police say Chaffin refused to stop.

Police say Chaffin lead officers on a chase in the ambulance before she crashed into a police patrol vehicle and a separate ambulance transporting a patient near Acequia Avenue and Locust Street.

A Visalia Police officer was taken to the hospital following a crash with a stolen ambulance on Monday. (Photo: VisaliaStringer)

One officer was taken to a nearby hospital with non-life threatening injuries following the crash.

Chaffin was taken into custody and was taken to the hospital to have her injuries checked out.

Once released from the hospital, Chaffin will be booked into the Tulare County Jail on several charges, including assault with a deadly weapon and possession of a stolen vehicle.

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