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Former Lumberton firefighter charged with stealing brush truck
LUMBERTON-By: Leslie Rangel
The Lumberton Fire chief says the crime endangered his department and the public.
"There's some damage where he slid something across the hood and scratched the hood and the front bumper, but it's nothing paint won't fix," Robert Simonson, Lumberton fire chief says.
Simonson says this is the truck former Lumberton firefighter Justin LeBoeuf is accused of taking.
It disappeared from the fire station on Keith road.
"Some of the stuff was stolen from it. We've recovered everything that was taken off it, except for a flashlight," Simonson says.
Chief Simonson says LeBoeuf walked up, typed in the code and walked right in.
"He's probably done more than a disservice than just somebody stealing it for the sake of stealing it," Simonson said.
This video shows the brush truck in action during a house fire.
"This vehicle not being here could impact a house down the street you know somebody's house," Simonson says.
If law enforcement officers hadn't found the truck, the chief says the hefty price tag would've prevented the department from quickly replacing it.
The brush truck costs more than 100 thousand dollars.
"It's not just a pick up truck, yes it's a pick up truck in the front, but the back is where we have our vested interest, it's got water, it's got hose," Simonson says.
And now that it's back home, the chief is left to deal with one last thing.
"It's a total slap in the face to the organization and to all the members here," Simonson said.
The chief says his department will install new cameras at the fire stations and change the pass codes for the doors.
LUMBERTON - The Hardin County Sheriff's Office has charged a former firefighter with the Lumberton Volunteer Fire Department with stealing a brush truck.
Chief Deputy Kenny Davenport tells KFDM Justin LeBoeuf, 19, of Lumberton, surrendered at about noon Wednesday. He's charged with unauthorized use of a motor vehicle. Davenport says LeBoeuf is accused of taking the truck from the fire station on Keith Road, as well as a winch, chain saw and other utility items, all of which have been recovered. LeBoeuf remained in jail as of 10:30 a.m. Thursday waiting for a judge to arraign him on the charge.
Fire Chief Bob Simonson told KFDM News LeBoeuf was a firefighter in Lumberton from February 14, 2012 until November 30, 2013 when he resigned.
Simonson says the truck was taken late Sunday night or early Monday morning. It was discovered Monday, stuck in mud in a ditch in the Barlow Lakes Estates subdivision in Tyler County. The chief says there was minor damage to the rear of the truck and scratches but it's back in service.
According to the chief, the department leaves the keys in its truck for quick use. He says they didn't know it had been taken until Tyler County investigators notified them. He says there was no sign of forced entry to the fire station on Keith Road.