Friday, July 29, 2011

Thieves swipe uniform, vehicle from city firehouse

District firefighters have been deployed to street corners to help protect high-crime neighborhoods.

They may need to begin patrolling their firehouses.

Early Tuesday morning, Engine 33 firefighters returned from a call to their firehouse at 101 Atlantic St. SE to find it ransacked, with a BMW automobile, a firefighter's uniform and other valuables stolen. Thieves had forced their way into the station, trashed the watch desk, and stole a range of gear and personal property.

Also missing were keys, wallets and a camera, according to the police report. The ripped-off BMW was the personal car of a firefighter.

D.C. fire spokesman Pete Piringer said the break-in occurred while the firefighters were battling a blaze at 1720 Savannah St. SE, and not while they were out deterring crime. He said the department will continue to stand watch on the city's most dangerous intersections.

"I would like to think that we've made the neighborhoods better from our efforts," Piringer said. "It's been pretty well received in most communities."

Since May, the city has deployed D.C. Fire and Emergency Medical Services personnel and trucks to high-crime spots to deter criminals. The firefighters have been posted at 14 of the most dangerous areas at night. The spots were chosen by the Metropolitan Police Department. (more)