Calif. firefighter memorial vandalized for 3rd time

Officials said they will not install new plaques until a solution to prevent further theft is devised

By FireRescue1 Staff

STOCKTON, Calif. — A firefighter memorial statue was vandalized for the third time this year. 

The monument’s base was smashed and the plaques were stolen, wrote the Stockton fire union on Facebook. The statue has previously been spray-painted over and also had plaques stolen before this week’s incident. 

“These plaques were inscribed with the names of those who [have] fallen in the line of duty; who made the ultimate sacrifice for the citizens and City of Stockton. This is heartbreaking,” the union wrote. 

Police told KCRA that local buyers were informed of the stolen plaques, should they appear on the market. Although new plaques have been ordered, they will not be installed until the city devises a solution to prevent further theft. 

“It’s very upsetting to the crews because they take a lot of pride in this memorial and what it stands for,” Stockton Fire Department Battalion Chief Rick Edwards said. “The honor it pays to those that have come before us — and really paid the ultimate sacrifice of giving their lives so that someone else may have the ability to live.”

The memorial was built in 1997 to honor two firefighters who died while attempting to save a woman from a fire.

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