Multiple Thefts From Westerville Fire Station Prompts Investigation


A half dozen reports of theft at one Westerville fire station is prompting security changes and an investigation.

Westerville Fire Chief Bernie Ingles said all the key code pads on the doors will soon be changed at all three fire stations.

The security enhancements come after a half dozen reports of theft, ranging from loose change to tennis shoes.

In the last few days, three firefighters reported a total of $45 stolen from their lockers.

A fourth firefighter reported a pair of shoes stolen from his locker, and twice, $40 was allegedly stolen from the station’s house fund which is used to pay for firefighters’ meals.

Ingles said he doesn’t know if a member of the community is sneaking into the station while the firefighters are out, or if it’s an inside job. He said if it is found that one of his own is responsible, the decision of what to do next would be easy.

“We don’t put up with that kind of behavior here at the fire department, as any employer wouldn’t. If anybody steals from co-workers or from the city, they would be terminated,” Ingles said.

Ingles said he is encouraging all the firefighters to always secure their property and lock the doors when they leave on a call. He said a deputy chief with the department will be conducting an internal investigation.