A woman with an outstanding felony drug warrant was arrested Thursday evening on suspicion of stealing a Riverside Fire Department engine, striking at least two vehicles before authorities caught up with her.

Firefighters responded to a medical emergency at a home on Hole Avenue in the La Sierra area about 6 p.m. and while firefighters were inside treating the patient, the woman jumped in the engine, which was left idling, and took off, according to the Riverside Police Department.

As a firefighter and paramedic rode in an ambulance with the patient to a hospital, the captain and engineer remained inside the apartment.

“They went outside to find no engine,” Riverside Fire Department Capt. Brian Guzzetta told The Press-Enterprise.

The woman headed east on the Riverside (91) Freeway and exited at Adams Street. At some point during the joyride, the engine struck two vehicles, police said.

A driver followed the engine and informed authorities of its location and police caught up with the woman after she stopped on the Adams Street off-ramp and tried to open the doors of vehicles that were stopped nearby, the department said.

The suspect was arrested on suspicion of grand theft auto, driving under the influence of drugs, police said. She also had an outstanding felony drug warrant. Her woman’s name was not disclosed.

Guzzetta told The Press-Enterprise fire engines are routinely left running to power emergency lights and, when battling a fire, the engine’s water pumps.

There has been no reason to lock the doors to the engines because “this happens so rarely that we have not implemented anything,” Guzzetta said.

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