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Scenic Loop Fire Department vehicle stolen

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The Scenic Loop Fire Department reported its 1996 Ford Super Duty Rescue 15 stolen and was found later in Dayton. Courtesy photoThe Scenic Loop Fire Department reported its 1996 Ford Super Duty Rescue 15 stolen and was found later in Dayton. Courtesy photo

By Enterprise Staff

Scenic Loop Fire Chief Donald Marlow has nearly four decades dedicated to fighting fires, but the events from Thursday are likely to be burned into his memory for years to come.

Around 2:30 p.m., the Scenic Loop Fire Department reported its 1996 Ford Super Duty Rescue 15 stolen. “It was a very exciting day and I’m kind of glad that it’s over with,” Marlow said. “We’re trying to put a close enough approximate time on
when this thing was taken.”

A postal employee was said to have delivered their mail around 12:15 p.m. and at that time, she remembered that the bay doors were down. Marlow himself said he drove by around 2 p.m. and noticed that the bay door was open. He lives near the station and dropped some items at his house. Once he returned, he noticed that the lights were not on.
After checking with his firemen and placing a few other phone calls, he reported the truck stolen to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Scenic Loop Fire Department also broadcast via social media that the truck was stolen. Around 45 minutes later, dispatch contacted Marlow to inform him that a Union Pacific Railroad employee had located the truck in Dayton.

Marlow was then told that the truck had been unloaded under the overpass on FM 321 and thrown onto the ground. The doors of the vehicle were left open.
After a few firemen arrived on the scene and performed inventory, Marlow said that a cervical collar bag was taken, as well as a pet oxygen mask.

Wires had been cut in the truck and many fuses were cut out. Marlow said the police department surmised it was done because someone wanted to come back later that night to go through the truck and scrap it for parts. He was told that the drivetrain on the truck is an expensive part and could have been the motive.

Rescue 15 now sits in an auto repair shop to discover the damages.

“I have been in this business for 38 years and never had to experience something like this,” the chief said. “You hear it happening, with people taking ambulances and police cars. When we put it on Facebook, we had a guy that did post and said that he was in Humble now, but followed that truck all the way to Cleveland.

The truck thief broke into the department through the back door. Marlow said the other two doors have keypad locks and promises the back door will have the same this weekend.

“I do not want to go through this again, because this is a headache. I hope they catch these people and put them in jail for a while. They broke into the back door and just went to that truck and pushed the bay door opener. The back door was locked, but it didn’t have a deadbolt on it. It is like anything else, if somebody wants in, they
are going to get in.”

Marlow is asking for those with security cameras to check between noon and 2:30 p.m. for possible identification. He estimates the driver’s path traveled down FM 3277 to Shelter Cove, then FM 3126 to FM 1988, entering Highway 59 from there. Scenic Loop Grocery has checked their security camera and the fire chief feels that the truck may have been driven through Shelter Cove to avoid those cameras. A resident off FM 1988 near the dam reported seeing the truck as well

The post on social media had over 37,000 views and was shared nearly 500 times. The fire chief thanks those who shared the information to help locate Rescue 15.

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