Empty Detroit firehouses targeted by thieves

Thefts are reportedly increasing because of cuts leading to unmanned stations

By Tammy Stables Battaglia
Detroit Free Press

DETROIT — Detroit firefighters discovered Monday that thieves took a TV, a computer, food, tools and soft drinks from the machine at an east-side station, the latest of a series of thefts at city firehouses.

Such thefts are increasing after cuts led to unmanned stations, Detroit Fire Department officials said. The Fire Department's agreement with the Detroit Fire Fighters Association includes a clause to reimburse staff for items they buy, such as TVs, kitchen supplies and personal items. Dan McNamara, president of the Detroit Fire Fighters Association Local 344, said the reimbursement clause was added to the firefighters' contract in the 1970s.

"Periodically -- nowhere near the frequency of today -- we had things stolen from the firehouses," he said. "Now it's like incredible. If our stations are manned less than 24 hours, people are stealing our stuff."

Full story: Empty Detroit firehouses are targeted by thieves

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