UPDATE: Kunkel Ambulance Stolen In Utica, Ends Up in Irondequoit Bay Near Rochester

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Police Chase On The Thruway

UTICA, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — The keys were inside the ambulance rig that Armstead stole. It was learned from the ambulance’s GPS tracking system that Armstead was traveling Westbound on the New York State Thruway.

“At this point we have not developed Utica One, or Kunkel Two. I think it was just an easy means of transport for her and stealing the ambulance, for whatever reason, was her idea how to return back to the Buffalo/Rochester area.” – Sergeant Michael Curly, Utica Police Department

Because Armstead is being held in Monroe County Jail, Utica police have not been able to speak with her.

“So, we have filed the charges of burglary in the third degree and Grand Larsony in the second degree for extradition; she obviously has some major felony charges pending in Monroe County.” – Sergeant Michael Curly, Utica Police Department

It is unclear at this time if she will return to Oneida county to face charges. However, the investigation is still on going.


11:20 a.m. UPDATE ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — The Utica Police Department has released the identity of the woman involved with stealing a Kunkel Ambulance on Sunday June 13th.

During the investigation of the theft, the Utica Police Department learned that Vanessa Armstead 32-years-old of Buffalo, N.Y. was in a separate motor vehicle incident that occurred on Saturday June 12th. She sustained some minor injuries and was transported to St. Elizabeth’s Hospital in Utica.

After she was released from the hospital it was believed that she then went to Union Train Station in Utica but on June 13th around 10:00 am Armstead entered the Kunkel Ambulance facility and stole the ambulance.

Armstead is currently being held at the Monroe County Jail in Rochester with a $3,500 bail and is charged with the following:

  • Burglary in the Third Degree, a Class D Felony
  • Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a Class C Felony

The UPD is still investigating the incident and more charges may be presented in the future.

ROCHESTER, N.Y. (WUTR/WFXV/WPNY-TV) — A Kunkel Ambulance stolen in Utica Sunday morning was crashed into Irondequoit Bay near Rochester.

According to State Police, a woman took a Kunkel Ambulance. Utica Police confirm that the ambulance was taken from the Kunkel garage on Catherine Street in Utica. There was a police chase on the New York State Thruway. Troopers broke off the pursuit near Weedsport.

However, the ambulance was followed by police agencies in Cayuga County ans was observed by police traveling on I-490 heading toward Irondequoit Bay. The ambulance was seen on Seneca Road in Irondequoit. The ambulance crashed through a gate at the boat launched and was driven into the bay. Irondequoit Bay flows into Lake Ontario at Rochester.

The woman who was driving the ambulance was able to swim to a boat nearby in the bay. She was given a medical exam and taken into custody.

Police say that there was a woman driving the ambulance and that she was the only person in the ambulance. The driver is in police custody. Her identity has not yet been released.

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