Tulsa firefighters return from a call to find their station burglarized. Authorities say the thieves may have lured the firefighters away by reporting a bogus fire.
News on 6 reporter Chris Wright says the firefighters at station #18 at 48th and Peoria believe the thieves waited for them to leave on a call before breaking in and making off with cash, credit cards, cell phones and a pickup truck.
On Wednesday, Tulsa firefighters surveyed the damage done to Station 18's locker room. Locks were still ajar a day after thieves broke them and stole firefighters' possessions. Tulsa Fire Captain Tim Smallwood: "This is very uncommon. I've been on the job 12 years, and this is the first time I've heard of us being broken into and robbed like this."
Shortly after 8 PM Tuesday, Station 18 responded to an apartment complex fire call on 61st Street. The station was left unattended, and after figuring out that the call was bogus, the firefighters returned to find it ransacked. "Once they got back to the station, they realized they were robbed. Someone had broken in and stolen wallets, a money jar and a 2000 Chevy pickup."
Captain Smallwood says the firefighters were not gone long, so the thieves likely rifled through their possessions and made off with the truck in a matter of minutes. Just like any homeowner whose home has been robbed, he says the firefighters felt violated. "It bothers us because we're out here serving the public, our job is to make sure the city of Tulsa is protected and safe."
Smallwood says the firefighters will now take some extra precautions before heading out on a call, but they won't let the robbery stop them from helping people. "We're still going to go out and do our job and hopefully come back and find everything here and intact."
The News on 6 spoke with a witness who says he saw three men come out of the fire station Tuesday night. He says two of them got into a Jeep Liberty, the other took off in the Chevy pickup.
There were some charges made on one of the stolen credit cards. The thieves spent $90 at a Quick Trip and $36 at a Sonic.
The investigation has been handed over to Tulsa Police. They have no leads at this time, but the firefighters are confident those who did this will be caught.