(Byhalia, MS) –Someone is stealing from the very people there to protect them. Thieves knocked off a volunteer fire station in the Watson community near Byhalia, MS twice in one week.
When the crooks hit the first time, they didn't take much; a few gas cans and some fuel. However, the fire chief believes they might have been taking notes because when they came back five days later they stole more than $4,000 worth of equipment.
“They took all of our axes, pick axes, flat axes, they took all of our halogen tools off the truck,” said Chief Ron Rhea.
He discovered what was left from the burglary while responding to a fire call. Rhea’s crew couldn't go out because their station was now a crime scene. Luckily, he says the call wasn't too serious, “It could have put somebody's life in jeopardy.”
After the first break-in, Rhea setup a surveillance camera, but this time the thieves stole that too, "They took the evidence with them.”
Rhea says money is tight. The volunteer firefighters must raise all of the operation funds to protect their community and now they've got thousands in equipment to replace.
“They don't realize that they're stealing from the community and it’s not just from the fire department,” said Rhea.
The chief claims the station is down, but not out. They can still respond to calls for help.
Anyone with information on the burglaries can call the Marshall County Sheriff's Department at 662.252.1311.