PHOENIX - Phoenix Police said Joni Sweet had prescription drugs with her when they got her out of the ambulance and arrested her on Friday.
Sweet's neighbors told ABC15 that Child Protective Services recently took her children, and that pushed her over the edge.
Odd comments by Sweet made to police could be heard on scanners as she drove the Southwest ambulance throughout Phoenix and Glendale Friday evening.
Officers eventually convinced Sweet to pull over and surrender in a Target parking lot.
No one was hurt, and the ambulance recieved only minor damage.
Police said Sweet was able to steal the emergency vehicle from Phoenix Baptist Hospital when the paramedics went inside to get a patient.
After her kids were taken from her, neighbors said Sweet shaved her head and began abusing drugs and alcohol. They also said losing her kids really affected her.
"They came from her. They're her children," said Memo Martinez. "Any real mother is going to lose their mind if they lose their kids."
Sweet is being held in jail for vehicle theft, criminal damage, and drug violations.
Neighbors said they hope now she can get the help she needs.
Copyright 2012 Scripps Media, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.
Did You Hear?
A teen who learned he didn't have much longer to live turned to writing music -- and his farewell song, "Clouds," became a YouTube sensation that has attracted more than 4 million views.
An Oklahoma man found his damaged truck and was able to start its engine, which put a smile on his face in the aftermath of a devastating tornado.
The Oscar Mayer Wienermobile will be visiting four Bashas’ stores leading up to Memorial Day weekend.
More Central Phoenix News