An ambulance was stolen from the Royal Marsden Hospital and taken on a joyriding spree around Sutton last night - damaging cars, gardens and smashing into a lamppost.

The London Ambulance Service (LAS) ambulance, complete with wheelchair tail-ramp, was taken from outside the Downs Road hospital at about 10pm as the ambulance crew attended to a patient inside the hospital.

The ambulance was later reported smashing into vehicles in Wales Avenue, Carshalton, pursued by police.

An eyewitness said the chase ended in Banstead Road South where the ambulance crashed into a lamppost.

The driver was arrested at the scene but no charges have yet been brought, said police.

Carol Foran, from Wales Avenue, said her husband Steve's van was damaged by the ambulance when it was rammed into her garden wall.

She said: "We heard the crash and came running out, then it went off down the street crashing into other cars.

"The tail of the ambulance was open and the wheelchair ramp was down. The police said it was a patient from the hospital."