Police suspect that the man, in his thirties, might have mistaken the ambulance for his high-end vehicle under the influence of alcohol.
Narrating the strange sequence of events, the police said a businessman visited the hospital early on Sunday to drop his friend who had sustained some injuries.
The keys of the Maruti Omni ambulance were left in the vehicle and the businessman drove it away thinking it was his car.
He realised his mistake only after reaching home in suburban Palavakkam, about 15 km away when members of his family questioned him about his car, police said.
The man immediately asked his driver to take the ambulance back to the hospital.
Meanwhile, hospital personnel alerted the police about the missing ambulance.
Even as the local patrol team arrived, the businessman’s driver drove in with the missing ambulance.
He apologised to the hospital authorities and police on his owner’s behalf and explained that the incident was a case of “mistaken identity.”
The hospital authorities decided to settle the issue and not to lodge a police complaint.