A 51-year-old man was arrested Sunday on suspicion of stealing an ambulance from a hospital near Tokyo while possibly drunk, local police said.

Keiichi Kudo has admitted to sitting in the driver's seat of the ambulance. But he denied the allegation of stealing it in the early hours of Sunday, saying he "cannot remember driving it away" from the premises of the hospital in Koshigaya, Saitama Prefecture.

Alcohol exceeding the legal limit was detected in his breath, the police said.

According to the local fire department, paramedics parked the ambulance at the hospital to move a patient inside but found the vehicle missing when they returned.

It was found on a road around 400 meters away, the police said.