A Glendale man in a white converted ambulance was arrested Sunday night after he stole a 55-year-old woman’s purse, groceries and a plate, police said.

Vahik Khajehkian, 50, was taken into custody about 7:45 p.m. when officers spotted him rummaging inside the ambulance, which was parked in the 1200 block of Allen Avenue — not far from the robbery, according to Glendale police.

Under the ambulance, officers found a bag containing the woman’s groceries and plate, police said.

The Glendale woman bought a plate from the Goodwill Store and groceries from Jons International Marketplace in the 1700 block of West Glenoaks Boulevard before walking home.

She was carrying her purse and shopping bags when she suddenly felt someone tug on her hands, which caused her to let go of the bags.

She turned and saw a man entering an old ambulance. The woman tried to chase him, but she fell and hit her face on the street.

She suffered cuts on her lips, face, left hand and knees, police said.

Police spotted the ambulance and Khajehkian, who reportedly said he was helping a friend in the neighborhood.

Officers later found eight hypodermic needles and a burnt piece of an aluminum can with brown residue inside the ambulance, police said.

Police also found the woman’s purse, which had been discarded behind a tree on Allen Avenue.

--Veronica Rocha, Times Community News

Follow Veronica Rocha on Google+ and on Twitter: @VeronicaRochaLA.