Wagoner Co. Man Given Probation After Vandalizing Fire Trucks
WAGONER COUNTY, Oklahoma - A judge sentenced A Wagoner County man who was arrested for stealing and vandalizing Red Bird volunteer fire trucks, July 15.
Three of the four charges against John Moats were dismissed, but he'll serve a ten-year suspended sentence for knowingly concealing stolen property only if he completes a one-year in-patient drug rehab program.
Meanwhile, the Red Bird Fire Department is still working to replace the equipment destroyed by thieves. The have spent months replacing equipment and fixing two fire trucks that were stolen.
"We've had a lot of donations that were given to us through this. And through that were able to get the trucks replaced equipment wise," said Brody Morris, Red Bird Fire Chief.
Morris said they received nearly ten thousand dollars in donations from all over the state.
Investigators say the thieves broke into the fire department in February, stole two trucks, tore off the equipment and tires, then left them.
"It set us back a little bit. But with just setting us back, other departments were able to come up and give us a hand. One department locally, Tullahassee, loaned us a truck," Morris said.
Morris said their small volunteer fire department has little funding, so they couldn't have moved forward without help from the community.
One of the trucks has been repaired and is back in service, but the other is still out of commission.
"The money that has come in has been able to replace the hand tools that were stolen, the air pack that was stolen, and the tired that were stolen," Morris said.
Morris said he doesn't understand why anyone would do this.
"Grass fire season is right upon us. Like right now so we have to have that equipment. Not only are you hurting the people you are stealing from but you are hurting people in the community that you serve," he said.
The department expects to be back to normal, with all equipment replaced, by August.