Meadville Tribune

October 25, 2012

Three teens charged in fire station burglary, theft

Meadville Tribune

GREENWOOD TOWNSHIP — When a stolen item was returned to Greenwood Volunteer Fire Department on Friday afternoon, it quickly led to charges being filed against three area teengers.

According to Pennsylvania State Police at Meadville barracks, a family member of one of the suspects showed up at the fire station with a piece of equipment that had been stolen two days earlier. The three teens now stand accused of burglarizing the fire department of approximately $20,000 worth of emergency equipment and several assorted items, according to police.

Cody J. Webber, 18, was arraigned Tuesday before Vernon Township Magisterial District Judge Michael Rossi. Charges filed included theft, burglary, criminal conspiracy, criminal trespass and theft by receiving stolen property.

Webber provided transportation to Greenwood VFD to stage the break-in with the juveniles on the evening of Oct. 17, police allege. His accomplices, ages 17 and 15, faced the same charges, as well as criminal mischief, all filed through Crawford County Juvenile Probation. Their names were not released by police.

The police report said items stolen included a thermal imaging camera, two yellow “Responder” flashlights, Motorola HT 1000 and 1250 portable radios, a Streaming Firevulcan rechargeable flashlight, two Motorola Minitor III pagers and charging/docking stations, two firemen’s face masks, an RCA 5-disc stereo with four speakers, assorted batteries, an EMS medical bag, two 30-pack cases of Keystone Light beer, an Emerson 42-inch flat screen TV, two red duffle bags, a pair of gloves, $6, an orange box-light flashlight and a football — all valued at approximately $20,000.

Cpl. Kurt Sitler of PSP, Meadville barracks, confirmed reports that a family member of one of the accused brought a stolen item back to Greenwood VFD on Friday. By that evening, two of the suspects were interviewed, according to police. On Saturday, state police interviewed all three suspects and their families in one group setting.

“When we all sat down, they knew they were in trouble,” said Sitler of Saturday’s round-up. “They really never offered a motive. I don’t think they were stealing this stuff to sell it, though.”

The firefighting equipment, comprising the majority of the stolen items, was all recovered, Greenwood Fire Chief Bob McCartney said Wednesday.

“Some of it was returned damaged and unusable, so we sent it out for evaluation to either be repaired or replaced,” he added, noting the petty cash and some miscellaneous items are still unaccounted for.

Webber was released on $25,000 unsecured bond. His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 1. Sitler noted it was Webber’s first criminal offense.