Port Coquitlam — It started with an act that left PoCo fire department officials scratching their heads, but ended with them clapping their hands.
After some thieves decided to steal a pair of fire helmets and an expensive pair of sunglasses off a fire truck last week, all the items have been returned in good condition.
The fire department said the items were returned this week by two different groups of individuals.
In one case, a couple came across a helmet along a trail while walking their dog, while a second helmet and the glasses were returned by another group.
The incident began last Thursday after the fire department was called to a complaint of a group of teens lighting a bonfire at Glenwood Avenue and Osborne Street late in the evening.
While four members of the department were at the scene putting out the fire, someone stole the fire helmets and sunglasses right off the back of the fire truck.
While no suspects were identified, firefighters did notice a group of teens near the truck as they left to deal with the bonfire.
PoCo fire chief Nick Delmonico said it appears at least one helmet might have been dumped in the area near the fire.
“I guess somebody just discarded it after they stole it, so we’re not entirely sure where the other set came from, they didn’t really let us know,” he said, noting the one couple knew the gear had been stolen after reading the story in The NOW.
“It’s always nice to know some people are out there doing the right things.”
In all, about $1,200 worth of items were stolen from the truck, including the helmets, which are worth about $400 each.
Had the items not been returned, the department would have had to replace them out of its own pocket, as the items are not insured by the city.
The theft also put the truck out of commission for the night, since fire crews can’t respond to a call without a helmet.
Delmonico noted with the return of the items, the department would likely drop the theft complaint filed with police.