Police said a 21-year-old woman was in custody Tuesday morning, after an ambulance was stolen from the Royal Alexandra Hospital in Edmonton.

Officials said the ambulance was driven away from the hospital ambulance bay, an area considered to be secure, at about 6 a.m. Tuesday.

“The noise of [the ambulance] hitting the door, and various other things alerted a lot of people,” Dale Weiss, Executive Director of EMS for AHS, said Tuesday.

A garage bay door at the hospital was badly damaged in the incident.

The suspect headed through north Edmonton, before turning west on Yellowhead Trail at a high rate of speed.

The vehicle finally stopped near Smithfield, Alberta, east of Wabamun, when an officer cornered the driver at the intersection of Range Road 32 and Highway 16.

“Police units came flying into here and surrounded it, and then they approached the door and there was a woman in there and Edmonton Police Services took her, handcuffed her,” Betty Peters said.

No one was injured.

The unnamed woman has been charged with dangerous driving, theft over $5,000, failing to remain at the scene of a collision, and driving an uninsured vehicle. 

The woman was later returned into the care of the hospital.

Officials are investigating how the woman managed to access the ambulance.

“We’re reviewing the whole case, just to see from one end to the other if there’s anything else we can do or perhaps can do in the future that adds security,” Weiss said.

Weiss said the space the ambulance was parked in when it was stolen is considered a secure area, and sometimes ambulances have to be moved – so protocol allows for the keys to stay in the ignition.

With files from Susan Amerongen