An oxygen tank, firefighting mask and backpack are back in the hands of the Ada Township Fire Department after being stolen from the scene of a commercial fire early Saturday morning.
Firefighters were preparing to clear the scene of a fire at Walmart, 5859 28th St SE, when they discovered that the gear, resting on the bumper of a fire truck, had been stolen, said Ada Township Fire Chief David Murray.
But thanks to the help of the Kent County Sheriff’s Department, the gear was recovered several hours after the theft, which occurred about 3:30 a.m.
Using security footage, deputies were able to see that the equipment was stolen by a man in a motorized wheelchair, who rolled up to the truck, took the equipment and continued on his way, Murray said.
The truck was parked near the front entrance of the store.
Figuring the thief lived nearby, deputies drove around a neighboring housing development, looking for vehicles that were equipped with a hitch to carry a motorized wheelchair, Murray said.
The deputies had a stroke of luck, he said, because the first such vehicle they spotted was parked at the residence where the thief resided. The equipment, though slightly damaged, was recovered and returned to Ada Township.
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