Help deputies ID man accused of stealing equipment from Laurens Co. fire department

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LAURENS Co., SC (WSPA) – Laurens County Sheriff’s Office is asking for the public’s help identifying a man who took essential equipment from a fire department.

The sheriff’s office said in a Facebook post that a man stole equipment Wednesday night from Youngs Fire Department on Harris Bridge Road, leaving the station out of commission.

7 News spoke with those at the fire station about how the theft impacts them and the community they serve.

The last thing Fire Chief Steven Burnette expected to see when he went to work Thursday morning was a good portion of gear missing from his fire station.

“I walked in and I saw the place ransacked and all of my doors were open on my fire trucks,” Steven Burnette said.

When he realized someone broke in on September 11th, he was especially disheartened.

“Just the lowest of the lowest,” he said. “Of all days, and of all things, you break into a fire department and steal life-saving equipment that we use to serve our community.”

The Laurens County Sheriff’s Office says a man entered the Youngs Fire Department Wednesday night and took items the station can’t function without.

Luckily, neighboring departments gave a helping hand, responding to any of the department’s calls, and even loaning them the equipment they no longer have.

“This county comes together during hard times and we stick together,” Burnette said. “It makes me feel good, as the chief, to know, when I have a problem like this, I have people that can help.”

Burnette told 7News he’d like to see the suspected thief caught soon; but, in the meantime, he wants the community to know they have nothing to worry about.

“I’ve got what we need to provide the same service that we always have,” he said.

At this time, the Laurens County Sheriff’s Office isn’t releasing details as to what was stolen or how much those items cost.

“This unfortunate event only adds insult to injury on an already somber day,” Sheriff Don Reynolds said. “Our firefighters work tirelessly daily. For someone to enter their haven without regard and take away items essential to the function of this station is disturbing and will not be tolerated.”

The suspect is believed to be in his late 40s or early 50s, has a tattoo on his right shoulder, has a muscular build and is approximately 5 feet 9 to 5 feet 10 inches tall, according to the sheriff’s office.

He was seen in pictures wearing a black tank top, shorts and has salt and pepper hair.

Anyone with information is asked to call the sheriff’s office at 864-984-4967 or call Laurens County Crimestoppers at 864-68-CRIME.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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