March 25, 2019
A homeless man was arrested early Sunday after he allegedly stole an ambulance from St. Mary’s Hospital and soon after committed a smash-and-grab burglary at Walgreens on Hawthorne Avenue.
Athens-Clarke County police said Edward Lee Wessinger, 41, stole the ambulance at about 12:15 a.m. while the driver was inside the Baxter Street hospital waiting for a patient to be discharged for transport. Officers subsequently found the National EMS ambulance abandoned at River’s Edge apartments on West Broad Street.
According to police, there is video evidence that shows Wessinger ran multiple red lights, struck “multiple vehicles” and jumped several curbs before abandoning the ambulance.
Less than an hour after the ambulance theft, at 1:08 a.m., police said they responded to a burglary in progress at Walgreens, just up the road from where the ambulance was abandoned.
Officers located Wessinger inside the business where he allegedly used a rock to break the front door glass, police said.
Police noted that Wessinger’s hands were cut and bleeding and that bloody packs of cigarettes littered the store’s floor.
When police searched Wessinger they found him in possession of a screwdriver and multiple packs of cigarettes.
Wessinger was booked into the Clarke County Jail on charges of theft by taking a motor vehicle, burglary, driving on a suspended or revoked license, DUI/drugs, reckless driving and driving on a suspended or revoked license.