Buckholts Volunteer Fire Department released surveillance video of a man who stole thousands of dollars worth of equipment from their station last week.
According to Buckholts Police Chief, Shawn Newsom, a man entered the station around 3:30 Friday morning while firefighters were on a call. The man drove up to the station in a silver Pontiac SUV and entered the facility through the open bay doors.
Newsom said the man, “walked around like he was shopping at Walmart,” pacing the firehouse for about 30 minutes. The man stole bunker gear, which includes a Nomex jacket, gloves, steel-plated boots and other pieces of the firefighters uniform.
Newsome said as a result of the missing items, one member of the Buckholts Volunteer Fire Department will have to sit.
"They work hard to help their fellow man and in return we got a guy like this that stops and burglarizes and takes their equipment that protects them and keeps them safe," Newsom said. "And allows them to do that job for free."
He said it took many bake sales and BBQs to raise the money over time for what someone stole in less than half an hour.
"These firefighters come to your home for free," Chief Newsom said. "They usually go in as two-person teams. That could be an entire team down, that could be the difference."
Resident Pete Rodriguez moved to Buckholts 68 years ago when he was only 8 years old. He lives just a block away from the fire department and often goes on walks in the middle of the night when he cant sleep. He said nothing like this has ever happened.
"It took us a long time to get something like this and then something like this happens and you get upset."
In addition to the bunker gear, the thief also took off with a chain and a flotation pump, the items are valued at over $6,000.
Buckholts Police are asking anyone with information to call 254-593-0117
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