Originally created 02/02/06

Man charged in ambulance theft



An Augusta man faces numerous charges after being accused of stealing an ambulance from a south Augusta residence and leading police agencies on a three-county chase that ended without incident in McDuffie County on Wednesday night.

Eric Daniel Scarboro, 41, of the 1300 block of Gordon Highway, was in custody at the McDuffie County jail after police accused him of stealing a Gold Cross ambulance from a home on Richmond Hill Road.

Trooper 1st Class Chris Wright, of the Georgia State Patrol's Thomson post, said he used stop-sticks on Interstate 20 to flatten two tires on the ambulance, causing Mr. Scarboro to get out with his hands up.

At about 8:49 p.m., Richmond County 911 officials said, they received a call from Gold Cross employees reporting that their vehicle was taken from a home in the 2600 block of Richmond Hill Road.

Richmond County sheriff's deputies pursued the stolen vehicle to the Columbia County line and Columbia County sheriff's deputies took over, following the ambulance onto westbound lanes of Interstate 20, said Trooper 1st Class Chris Wright.

After entering McDuffie County, Trooper 1st Class Wright said, he used stop-sticks to halt the vehicle. By 9:13 p.m., Mr. Scarboro was in custody.

"The emergency lights were on but not the siren," the trooper said. "It wasn't hotwired or anything, so it must have been unlocked."

He credited all police agencies for safe practices in pursuit of the ambulance.

The Ford E-350 2006 model is valued at at least $150,000 along with it's emergency equipment, Trooper Wright said.

Capt. Kathy Edmiston of Gold Cross said the ambulance was towed back to Augusta late Wednesday and the only damage was to the van's tires.

Trooper Wright said Mr. Scarboro faces DUI and possibly drug charges from his agency in addition to charges from Richmond and Columbia counties.

Reach Timothy Cox at (706) 823-3217 or tim.cox@augustachronicle.com.