Firefighters extricate man from car he stole from a firefighter

A firefighter reported his car stolen from the fire station while on shift, the thief crashed it in a nearby town requiring extrication before being arrested

By Abby Tonsing
The Herald-Times

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. — A Bloomington firefighter this week reported his car was stolen while it was parked during his shift at the downtown fire station.

Hours later, Bedford firefighters rescued a homeless man from the stolen car after a single-vehicle crash in Lawrence County.

Harvey James Hampton, 45, was arrested on preliminary felony charges of burglary and auto theft. His bond at the Monroe County Jail was set at $10,000 surety, $500 cash.

The 31-year-old Bloomington firefighter called police Thursday afternoon to report his blue 2013 Chevrolet Sonic had been stolen from a parking lot of the City of Bloomington Fire Department Headquarters, at 300 E. Fourth St.

He reported he parked and locked his car before the start of his shift at 6 a.m. He placed his keys and other items on a table just inside the bay of the fire station, according to Bloomington Police Department Sgt. Joe Crider.

About 3 p.m., the firefighter received a phone call from Monroe County Community School Corp. personnel, who said a good Samaritan found his school-issued laptop in a dumpster on the city's north side. That's when he realized his car had been stolen, Crider said. The computer had been in the car.

Firefighters reported seeing a suspicious man helping himself to a bucket of candy in the fire bay at about 7 that morning.

Later that day, Lawrence County emergency responders were dispatched to a single-vehicle crash on Ind. 54 and Hillview Lane, near Springville, at 7:33 p.m. They had to cut into the vehicle to remove Hampton.

Hampton was driving east on a wet road when he drove off the road, went over an embankment, through some trees and rolled the car, according to a Lawrence County Police Department accident report. He was not wearing a seat belt and suffered back pain.

In an ambulance, medics say, Hampton told them he had stolen the car in Bloomington. He also matched the description of the man firefighters saw taking candy at the firehouse, Crider said.


(c)2015 the Herald-Times (Bloomington, Ind.)

Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC.

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