Firefighter who faked 911 calls to steal from brothers can't make bail

The firefighter who stole items from the fire house while his fellow firefighters were responding to his phantom emergencies was shipped to N.Y.'s Rikers Island


NEW YORK — A firefighter charged with placing fake 911 calls then stealing from the fire house while others were out chasing phantom emergencies was arraigned Tuesday on burglary and other charges. Because he couldn't post the $7,500 bail, he was sent to Rikers Island — named one of America's 10 worst prisons.

NY Daily News reported that Joseph Keene, 34, allegedly copped to committing similar crimes in Queens and was rearrested Monday to face charges. When firefighters responded to his fake calls, Keene allegedly would sneak into their buildings and search lockers and other areas to find cash, according to the report.

He committed three burglaries between May 24 and June 2 — stealing items such as money from a bag and a box in the kitchen — all while his fellow firefighters were responding to his phoned-in emergencies, one being a bogus transformer explosion, according to the report.

“I called in an odor of gas to Forest Ave.,” the complaint states, quoting Keene. “When (firefighters) left quarters, I entered their firehouse and stole money from their kitchen.”

His next appearance in criminal court is set for Aug. 2.

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