Stolen fire equipment discovered by maintenance worker


CHICO, Calif. - Stolen items taken from a CAL FIRE Butte County Fire volunteer station earlier this week have been recovered. A maintenance worker discovered the missing items early Thursday morning behind the Almond Orchard Shopping Center.

Kyle Pierman said he does find some interesting items behind this shopping center and these items he found this morning were no exception. It was the CAL FIRE logo he found on them that he realized these were something special.

Every couple of days, Pierman patrols through the shopping center off Pillsbury Road in Chico in the early morning hours making sure that everything is in tip-top shape for the nearby stores. While making his rounds he said he sees a lot of things. "I mean you get the homeless back here and stuff like that," he said. "There's just you know people urinating when you come around the corner. Yeah, it's surprising." It was rewarding when he discovered fire equipment around 7 a.m. that was stolen from a CAL FIRE volunteer station near Butte College Monday. "So I grabbed the gas can and looked on it. That's where it said Butte County Department of Forestry or Fire and number 25 on it," said Pierman. He recognized the chainsaw, power-head generator for the Jaws of Life, and the big screen TV when he saw it on the news. Pierman immediately rushed to a phone to call authorities. "It's kind of fun to find stuff like that," he said. CAL FIRE and Butte County sheriff deputies came to reclaim the stolen items that were taken by the thieves who were caught on surveillance video Monday. "We are still missing a few power tools and some hand tools," said CAL FIRE Captain Ryan Finn. CAL FIRE said there's no back up set for these items at that station, and he explained it is the first to respond to all of the traffic accidents near Butte College. It shaves off 5 to 10 minutes of response time from stations in Durham or Oroville; which is why they are glad a key item was recovered, the power head for the Jaws of Life. "That's the most important item that was found here today in my opinion," said Finn. "It could be the difference between life and death."

The suspects have been identified in this case but investigators are not releasing their names at this time. CAL FIRE said they are grateful for Pierman's phone call.