KEARNS — Police are trying to determine why a woman got into an idling fire truck Thursday and drove it a short distance before abandoning it.
Around 5 p.m., a pair of Unified Fire Authority firefighters were inside a 7-Eleven convenience store, 4820 W. 6200 South, when they noticed their vehicle was missing, according to police.
A 38-year-old woman allegedly stole the truck, drove it about eight blocks west and then exited the vehicle to go into a Walgreen's, said Unified police detective Ken Hansen.
The woman told a store employee that a fire truck had been stolen and instructed them to call 911, Hansen said. She then went into the men's restroom to change her clothes.
A West Jordan police officer recovered the unoccupied truck near the intersection of 6200 South and 5600 West within minutes of it going missing. The woman was on foot when she was apprehended a short time after that at 5620 S. Stone Bluff Way, Hansen said. She was taken into custody for questioning.
Hansen said the woman didn't give any reason for taking the truck, but was being cooperative with police and admitted to taking it. The woman is homeless, he said.
The Unified Fire Authority vehicle didn't sustain any damage.
"It was driven over a couple curbs, I suspect because she doesn't know how to drive a vehicle of this size," Hansen said. "I've seen police cars stolen, I've seen ambulances stolen, but this is my first time I've ever seen a fire truck taken."
In order to stay at the ready, fire trucks must be kept running in winter to keep hoses warm enough to work, according to Hansen. He said he is grateful nobody was hurt and that the vehicle wasn't damaged.
Neither firefighter was in the truck when the woman got in, the detective said.
"What I suspect they'll do is (next time) leave one firefighter in the truck," he said.
The woman's name was not immediately released.