A man accused of burglarizing more than two-dozen cars in Newark managed to escape from an ambulance while handcuffed and led police on a foot chase before being taken into custody a second time.

The break-ins happened overnight Monday into Tuesday in several areas of Newark, including Main Street, Cleveland Avenue, Prospect Avenue and Chimney Ridge Drive, according to Lt. Andrew Rubin, a spokesman for the Newark Police Department.

“Officers made contact with multiple victims who all reported thefts of items from their unlocked vehicles or reported having their vehicles rummaged through with nothing reported missing,” Rubin said. “A total of 26 vehicles were found to have been involved in this incident.”

Rubin added that the thief entered a detached garage on Chimney Ridge Drive in order to access a vehicle and also attempted to break into a garage on Cleveland Avenue, leaving pry marks and dents.

Police used surveillance footage to identify a vehicle involved in the thefts and then linked the thefts to Stephen Evans, 24, of Newark, Rubin said.

On Tuesday, police raided Evans’ home and found evidence linking him to the thefts.

Evans was arrested, and back at the police station, he complained of an illness, prompting officers to call an ambulance to take him to Christiana Hospital.

While the ambulance was stopped at a red light at the corner of Ogletown-Stanton Road and Harmony Road, Evans escaped from the ambulance and took off running while still handcuffed.

“He was handcuffed in the front,” Rubin said. “He was able to get up and jump out.”

An officer following the ambulance gave chase and re-captured Evans within four minutes, Rubin said.

After being treated for his undisclosed illness, Evans was charged with 11 counts of tampering with a motor vehicle, 10 counts of theft, nine counts of third-degree burglary and one count each of second-degree burglary, criminal mischief, third-degree escape and resisting arrest. He was released on $52,200 unsecured bail.

In 2016, Evans was charged with a string of vehicle break-ins in neighborhoods off Paper Mill Road.

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