SILVERWOOD LAKE, CALIFORNIA — The San Bernardino National Forest Officials are searching for this man who burglarized and stole from a firefighter at the Cottonwood Fire Station around 1845 hours PT on April 19, 2021.
The station is south of Silverwood Lake off of Highway 138.
According to the investigation and security cam evidence, the burglary suspect broken into the station by prying open a door. The loss is said to be a backpack filled with gear and a toolbox with hand tools worth an estimated of $2,000.
Authorities are saying the suspect is described as a slender possibly a Caucasian or Hispanic male with a goatee but could possibly have altered his appearance after the crime.
It is said that he left in a gray 4-door vehicle possibly a Honda.
UPDATE | We have received information from sources, that they have caught the thief through Social Media tips and have recovered most of what was stolen. That’s what we call great sleuthing and community support. Nice work!
About Thefts in Fire Stations
In researching for this story, I hate to say that this is not a rare occurrence but seems to be a normal occurrence. With that being said, this is not okay and especially to those who are out protecting and saving lives.
Here are some of occurrences as shared by news media around the Nation
A Kennewick man who had stolen property from a City Fire Station was jailed after trying to sell power tools from the robberies. The Grandridge Boulevard Fire station has had three break-ins since the beginning of the year resulting in the loss of thousands of dollars in power tools, belt sanders, saws and power drills. Source: News Media Burglar caught after Kennewick fire station ransacked 3 times (msn.com)
Multiple Memphis, TN. fire stations were burglarized hours from one another in August of 2020. 11 vehicles were burglarized during one incidents with busted out windows, enabling suspects to enter and still property from four of the vehicles. At a second location, five cars were broken into and so forth. A total of four fire stations were hit in one night.
A Woodland Fire Station in the Cowlitz County Fire District 1 was discovered to be broken into on Monday, December 28, checking the station. It does not have surveillance cameras and is not fully staffed so they don’t have an idea when the occurrence took place. Thieves broke in through the rear of the building by ripping out an exterior wall and kicking down the interior wall. Suspects stripped four of their fire apparatus of medical equipment, handheld radio and took several tools including axes and chainsaws. Several unknown number of their SCBAs were also taken. They cost a whopping $8,000 each. The estimated loss for this department and its community is a minimal amount of $50,000.
More details can be found via the news media Burglary at Woodland fire station results in $50K loss, slows response time | Local | tdn.com
A fellow firefighter was suspected of stealing from his brothers and sisters and also setting fires to keep them away. He was observed while committing some of the crimes. The 11-year veteran was arrested.
While firefighters were out of their station battling a wildfire in Contra Costa County, a brazen and bold thief robbed their station would come back fighting the 800-acre Morgan Fire near Mount Diablo State Park found someone had stolen electronics, personal items including wedding rings and other items. They (suspects) had rummaged through their lockers, desks and dorm area. Reports of an attempted break-in while they were sleeping woke up, scaring the would-be burglar away.
(c) 2021 NW Fire Blog