Cash, cell phone stolen from trucks while firefighters eat breakfast

MARION COUNTY, Ind. (WISH)  – It may be a story of petty theft, but when you find out where the crime occurred and who the victims are, you are likely to start shaking your head.

On Sunday morning, firefighters at Wayne Township Fire Station 84 decided to get some breakfast at a restaurant in the Chapel Hill Shopping Center, near N. High School Road and W. 10th Street. The firefighters parked all three trucks toward the back of the parking lot.

Parking lot where items were stolen from fire trucks (WISH Photo)
Parking lot where items were stolen from fire trucks (WISH Photo)

“You can still see it from inside. But while they were in there, they usually cover everything up, they come back out and it looked like somebody had ransacked the place,” says Wayne Township Fire Chief Gene Konzen.

A cell phone and about $80 in cash, collected from the eight firefighters to use for groceries for meals while at the station house, was stolen.

“And so, it’s a little disappointing that a little bit of our safety and security had been breached,” says George Caughlan, one of the firefighters who went for breakfast.

He admits they didn’t lock the doors on the equipment.

“We have our doors open for children to come over to check out the fire apparatus at anytime. Like I said, just a little disappointing that we have to watch where we put our things,” says Caughlan.

Chief Konzen says there’s another reason fire apparatus is not usually locked.

“Our response is to get in there and get going in less than a minute, if you got to start, because they’re all separate keys, each door you’d be unlocking with a key and that could be a nightmare,” he said.

However, there is a solution that Chief Konzen says could solve the problem.

“We’re going to get some lock boxes, it doesn’t need to be a fancy safe. But, we can get a lock box and mount it in all the apparatus,” he said.

Chief Konzen said the new ladder truck is equipped with a video camera, but it didn’t capture anything this time. They hope to fix that so it will work, even if the trucks are not running.

A ping on the cell phone found it was somewhere in the apartment complex across the street from the restaurant.  But so far, they haven’t been able to pinpoint exactly where.

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