Break-in at firehouse leaves department without vital equipment - KXXV-TV News Channel 25 - Central Texas News and Weather for Waco, Temple, Killeen |


Break-in at firehouse leaves department without vital equipment


By Christine McCarthy and Adam Shear

MCLENNAN COUNTY- A local fire department is asking the community for help in solving a break-in at their department that left them without vital equipment and gear.

"It disappoints us all that someone would stoop to the level of stealing from a volunteer fire department, especially a small one like we are," said Leroy-Axtell Volunteer Fire Chief Scott Garner.

Garner said that a thief or thieves broke into the Leroy firehouse late Saturday night or early Sunday morning and stole a bunker coat labeled "Leroy VFD," a "Mourning Pride" helmet, a blue EMS airway bag, a blue EMS trauma bag and an automated external defibrillator.

"It's going to take us longer to arrive on scene," Garner said. "We do have a second truck in Axtell that can respond... It could be up to ten minutes before we could get an A.E.D. hooked up to a patient in cardiac arrest, and it could possibly - we possibly couldn't get there in time to save their life."

Garner said some stolen items, including two more helmets, fireman's pants and a pair of boots, were recovered in Elm Mott. He thinks they could have fallen off the thief's truck.

Garner estimated the loss to be about $3,000, and it could take the department a month to replace all the equipment.

The department is hopeful the stolen items will be returned soon, whether by a good Samaritan or the person who took them.

"Just ask him to bring them back," Garner said. "No hard feelings. We'd just like to have our stuff back."

The McLennan County Sheriff's Office is now investigating the break-in. Garner said the county has some leads and might have a suspect. He also said the thief likely hit a nearby resident's house and stole tools.

Anyone with information about the theft is urged to contact local law enforcement.

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