OCFA firefighters brought a patient to the UCI Medical Center in Orange early on Tuesday morning, at around 1:40 a.m. While the firefighters were loading medical gear onto the fire truck, a suspect jumped into the vehicle and took off.
The suspect did not realize that OCFA fire trucks are equipped with GPS trackers which allowed the CHP to give chase as the suspect drove through many Orange County cities, including Fountain Valley and Irvine.
The pursuit finally came to Anaheim, near Ball Road and Brookhurst Street, when something unexpected happened.
An unidentified man walked up into the stopped fire truck’s path and placed his hand on the window.
The suspect tried to back up the fire truck repeatedly to go around the man but was never able to get the truck past him.
The man outside the fire truck then exchanged words with the suspect.
Finally, at around 3 a.m., the suspect got out of the fire truck and surrendered to the police. The unidentified driver was taken into custody without further incident.
The man who stopped the fire truck thief walked away. Police later said he was homeless.
The fire truck sustained minor damage during the chase.