Suspect nabbed in firefighting gear theft

A Concord man was arrested Wednesday on suspicion of stealing firefighting equipment from the Contra Costa Fire District over the span of a year, according to investigators.

The alleged thief, Steven Wright, is being linked to a series of thefts that started last July. Suspicions first arose when someone was seen climbing a fence at the fire district’s training center. At that time, the suspect ditched their loot and ran.

Fast forward to this month when an audit revealed that more equipment had mysteriously disappeared, sparking an investigation by Concord police. Among the items were breathing units, axes, sledge hammers and even a chain saw.

Upon investigation, several openings in the fence surrounding the training center were found. Based on the location of the openings, investigators researched the criminal histories of people living in the surrounding properties.

That’s where the 42-year-old Wright comes in, with a criminal past that included theft.

Investigators then set up surveillance cameras and recorded Wright on the property, according to Fire Investigator Vic Massenkoff. Then Concord police used the evidence to arrest Wright on felony charges yesterday.

Massenkoff did not say if any of the firefighting equipment had been recovered, but did say that residents should be on the lookout for firefighting equipment either emblazoned with Contra Costa Fire District insignia or that would seem unusual for a civilian to have. Massenkoff told the CoCo Times:

“If it appears to be something fire department related, we’d love to hear from them. Last year a ConFire icebox showed up at a swap meet in San Jose.”