A New York City firefighter is being accused of stealing from his fellow firefighters after making false emergency calls.
Joseph Keene, 34, was arrested Friday on burglary charges after a joint investigation by the New York Police Department, the Fire Department of New York and the city Department of Investigation (DOI).
According to the DOI, Keene has taken approximately $2,000 from various firehouses in Queens and Staten Island over at least three months. The DOI says that Keene would generally first make false emergency calls, where he would report sparking transformers or the smell of gas, then after the fire trucks answered the call Keene would enter the empty firehouses to take cash or personal belongings.
Investigators say the largest haul was on June 11, when Keene allegedly took $1,200 from a firehouse in Queens after he allegedly made a call to report the odor of gas at a public intersection. Video surveillance allegedly showed Keene exiting a car and entering the firehouse after the company had left to respond to the call.
He was also allegedly entered an FDNY facility on Randall’s Island in July and took between $40 to $60 from an employee locker room.
According to the DOI, after Keene was interviewed by the DOI and NYPD he allegedly admitted to burglarizing the firehouses.
DOI Commissioner Rose Gill Hearn condemned Keene’s actions and said they were not representative of the FDNY.
“It is surprising that a firefighter would both call in fake 911 calls and steal money from colleagues,” Gill Hearn said. “To do so at this time, when there is a heightened need and demand for units to be responding to legitimate calls to people in need is especially outrageous.”
The New York Daily News reported that Keene was released Friday on $5,000 bail.