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Kentucky man steals ambulance, needed a ride home, say cops

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(CBS/WKYT) HAZARD, Ky. - Kentucky man Shane Hale is behind bars after police say he stole an ambulance in front of a hospital on Friday night.

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Perry County Ambulance crews told police they were inside Hazard ARH Regional Medical Center in central Kentucky for a just few minutes, but left the keys in the ignition, reports CBS affiliate WKYT.

"They came back to get the ambulance, and it was gone," said Hazard Police Dept. Sgt. Randy Napier.

Police say Hale jumped in the ambulance and was spotted on a highway by off-duty State Police Detective Chris Fugate.

Fugate was heading in the opposite direction when he saw something unusual.

"The ambulance came up on a vehicle somewhere on Highway 15 at a high rate of speed and had to hit its brakes," said Napier, according to WKYT.

He says Fugate turned around, caught up to Hale and followed him. The detective got the ambulance's attention by flashing his headlights. Police say Hale then pulled over in front of a church.

"He was highly intoxicated. He wouldn't say how much he'd been drinking. He did admit he'd smoked some marijuana," said Napier.

Hale told police he was only borrowing the ambulance because he needed a ride home.

"[He] stated that he was going to tell them in the morning where the ambulance was located," said Napier.

Napier says Hale's driving caused a broken mirror on the ambulance in addition to dents on the passenger side and back of the vehicle.

Hale is charged with theft by unlawful taking, operating a motor vehicle under the influence, criminal mischief and driving DUI on a suspended license.

He is being held at the Kentucky River Regional Jail on a $40,000 cash bond

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