An exterior image of the Merrick Fire Department headquarters on...

An exterior image of the Merrick Fire Department headquarters on Meadowbrook Pkwy in Merrick. Credit: Google, 2011

Nassau police on Friday arrested a North Merrick man who they said took a Merrick Fire Department ambulance for a joy ride 10 days earlier.

Detectives said that before Salvatore Brecciano, 46, stole the fire department's ambulance on the night of Oct. 8, he entered a 7-Eleven on Sunrise Highway in Merrick on foot and bought a 12-pack of Budweiser with a debit card. He then left the store and walked northbound on Babylon Turnpike.

Brecciano soon turned right on Meadowbrook Road and passed the Merrick firehouse where, police said, he entered the unmanned ambulance, which was parked in front of the firehouse with the keys in the ignition. Brecciano then abandoned the 12-pack of beer on the ground next to the ambulance and pulled away, police said.

Shortly after that, First Precinct officers recovered the unoccupied ambulance on Durham Road and North Jerusalem Avenue in North Merrick, less than three miles away. There was no "property loss" to the ambulance, police said, but the vehicle's keys were missing.

After canvassing the nearby 7-Eleven, police discovered that Brecciano had purchased beer there.

Brecciano was arrested on Friday at his home on Tyrus Court, police said, and the ambulance keys were recovered from his car.

He is charged with second-degree grand larceny and will be arraigned on Saturday in First District Court in Hempstead.

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