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Colorado student accused of stealing ambulance

Stefan Sortland

CBS Denver

FORT COLLINS, Colo. -- A Colorado State University student has been arrested for allegedly stealing an ambulance and taking it for a joyride, reports CBS Denver.

Stefan Sortland, 18, is accused of stealing the Poudre Valley Hospital ambulance after it arrived on campus for an emergency. Paramedics went inside a building for about 25 minutes and when they came out, their ambulance was gone.

Police say Sortland drove the ambulance to Loveland, Colo., about 12 miles away. Officers were able to track him, because the ambulance is equipped with a GPS device.

When they caught up with the ambulance, the suspect was still behind the wheel. The vehicle was damaged and Sortland was allegedly wearing an EMT safety vest. He also allegedly refused to cooperate with police.

"They couldn't see what was in his hands and they ended up deploying a taser in order to take him into custody," said Loveland Police Sgt. Justin Chase.

Sortland told police he was heading to Vail and allegedly spoke about following "bright lights" and other unrelated topics, according to court documents.

"I don't know if he was under the influence or anything like that," said Chase.

In a statement, Poudre Valley Hospital said ambulances are typically left unlocked and running, so personnel can have quick access to equipment and emergency gear can stay powered.

"This is the first time in about 30 years since a PVH EMS ambulance has been stolen," the hospital said in its statement.

The patient who emergency personnel treated on campus was was taken to another hospital by a different ambulance.

Sortland is being held in the Larimer County Jail facing motor vehicle theft charges.

Police say he also punched a correctional officer who was delivering a meal.