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Police: Suspect arrested after stealing ambulance from Council Bluffs hospital

Posted at 2:13 PM, Oct 07, 2023

COUNCIL BLUFFS, Iowa. (KMTV) — Omaha Police has arrested a suspect after a pursuit of a stolen ambulance between Iowa and Nebraska on Saturday morning.

Here's what we know from police:

At approximately 7:30 a.m., OPD received a radio broadcast that Council Bluffs Police were in pursuit of a stolen ambulance.

According to a press release, a City of Council Bluffs ambulance was stolen from the Emergency Room Unloading Zone at Mercy Hospital. There were no patients in the ambulance at the time of the theft. Firefighters ran on foot after the ambulance unable to catch it as the suspect was driving off.

Council Bluffs Police pursued the ambulance where it went into Omaha. When the chase crossed into Omaha there were several attempts to stop-stick the ambulance but all were unsuccessful.

A CBPD Crisis Negotiator utilizing the fire radio channel attempted to negotiate with the suspect to get him to stop and give up.

According to police, at points in the pursuit, the ambulance drove in the wrong lanes into oncoming traffic.

OPD helicopter ABLE 1 was in service and picked up the ambulance. A successful stop-stick was deployed near 138 & Military Ave in Omaha. The suspect was then taken into custody.

The suspect was identified as 29-year-old Austin Risor. He was booked for hit and run (property damage), theft by receiving, flight to avoid arrest and felony escape warrant (work release absconder).

Risor is also facing a charge of first-degree theft in Iowa.

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