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Former College Basketball Player Stole Ambulance Because It Was Too Hot To Walk, Police Say

Todd Shell, 37, was leaving the hospital after being treated for a heat-related episode when he spotted an ambulance that had been left running, police said. 

By Jon Silman

A former Arizona State University basketball player couldn't take the heat in Mesa and stole an ambulance so he wouldn't have to walk home, police said.

Todd Shell, 37, had just been released from the hospital for a heat-related situation on Tuesday, according to a news release by the Mesa Police Department.

When police interviewed him later, Shell said he left the hospital doors and felt like it was way too hot to walk. Temperatures in Mesa reached a high of 115 degrees, according to AccuWeather.com

He saw the ambulance that had been left running after dropping off a patient and decided to take it, police said.

Police used to GPS to find the ambulance, which was traveling east on U.S. 60. Authorities tried to stop Shell while he was driving but he just kept going at a normal speed until he stopped on his own.

Apparently, he wanted to buy a sandwich, police said, but he had to go home and get some money first. He also said he fully intended to return the ambulance when he was done with it.

The ambulance was recovered without damage and returned to service, and Shell was charged with one count of unlawful use of means of transportation and one count of unlawful flight from law enforcement.

Snell was a top player at Mesa Mountain View high school, according to the Arizona Republic, and won two state titles. He played for ASU from 1999 to 2002. His father, Todd Shell, was a linebacker for the San Francisco 49ers and has two Super Bowl rings.

[Photo: Mesa Police Department]

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