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Jan. 7, 2013 at 6:00 AM
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Ambulance stolen for joyride in Colorado

LONGMONT, Colo., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- A first-responder crew in Longmont, Colo., went inside a home on an emergency call Sunday only to have someone steal their ambulance, authorities said.

The medical personnel were helping an 83-year-old woman who had fallen about 3 a.m. when they heard beeping coming from the ambulance parked outside, indicating it was backing up, Longmont police spokesman Jeff Satur told The Denver Post.

"They ran out there and saw their ambulance driving off," he said.

Police were alerted and the emergency vehicle was spotted soon after. After a six-block chase, the unauthorized ambulance driver pulled over and was arrested, the Post said.

The suspect, Robert Elmar Taylor, 51, "was intoxicated and made some statement about being cold," Satur said.

Taylor faces charges of theft of the ambulance and driving under the influence of alcohol. There also was an outstanding warrant for his arrest for escape and he was listed as a missing person in Fort Collins, Satur said.

Big feet clues aid police in theft arrest

MONROE, Wash., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Police in Washington state caught an alleged second-time thief because they noticed his large feet during his first arrest.

Benjamin A. Pickrell, 24, of Monroe was initially arrested Tuesday for car theft and was released about 2 a.m. Thursday, the Everett Herald reported.

The Herald did not report why authorities released Pickrell, who was booked and held in jail for investigation of first-degree burglary, among other allegations.

Five hours later, the same officers said they were summoned to a home where the homeowner said he had chased someone from his garage after a struggle during which the burglar had threatened him with a knife, the Everett Herald reported.

The homeowner said a large number of Canadian coins had been stolen from his car.

The officers also noticed there were size 16 shoe prints in the frost near the home.

"Upon closer inspection of the intruder's footprints in the frozen grass, it was obvious that the footprints were extremely large, measuring nearly 16 inches in length. The only person that came to mind that would have that size of shoe and be committing burglaries in the area was Ben Pickrell," the police report said.

The police nabbed the 6-foot-9, 230-pound Pickrell as he walked along the street in the vicinity of the alleged crime.

Ore. senator scares off burglar with bat

EUGENE, Ore., Jan. 6 (UPI) -- An Oregon state senator said he scared off a burglar by threatening him with a baseball bat.

Democratic Sen. Chris Edwards of Eugene owns guns but said he wasn't looking for a firefight when he awakened to the sound of his garage door opening and apprehended the burglar in his garage Thursday in the early morning, the Eugene Register-Guard reported.

"I opened my door to the garage and saw a guy standing over by my bikes. I yelled at him, 'What the blank are you doing? Get the blank out of my garage!' He looked up at me and then took off running," said Edwards, who had been armed with a 32-inch Easton aluminum bat.

Edwards said he ordinarily locks his car doors, but believes he might have forgotten to do so Wednesday night. Police arriving on the scene moments after Edwards placed a 911 call, said the burglar found the automatic garage door opener.

"Knowing that somebody did this on the one night the car door was left unlocked tells me that people are out there walking around and checking doors until they find one that isn't locked," Edwards said.

Edwards, who posted a Facebook message about the incident -- which included some profanity and harsh words addressed to the intruder-- said he has had responses to his post.

"It's been amazing to see how many people from different political points of view have chimed in to talk about this crime problem. As citizen legislators, we live amongst everybody else, and the same things affect us that affect everybody."

Cat tries to sneak into prison with tools

ARAPIRACA, Brazil, Jan. 6 (UPI) -- Guards said they consider all 250 inmates at a Brazil prison suspects after they discovered a cat sneaking into the facility with tools taped to its body.

Prison officials said in a statement they believe the two drills, two saws, headset, memory card, three batteries, cell phone and cell phone charger taped to the animal were meant to aid a prisoner in escaping the prison in Arapiraca.

The guards noticed something strange about the body of the black and white cat as it attempted to enter at the gate of the prison Dec. 31, the statement said.

It is not clear which inmate the cat was allegedly aiding, CNN reported Sunday.

The cat was turned over to animal control.

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