Firefighter accused of stealing from patient, police sources say

May 15, 2013 6:22:26 AM PDT
It started as a routine call for Engine 28 in the Port Richmond/Kensington area Monday night. But police sources tell Action News it ended in trouble for a Philadelphia firefighter.

The firefighter is accused of stealing money from a patient he transported to Temple University's Episcopal Hospital. Action News has learned the allegation is that the firefighter, who was driving a medic rig, went through the pockets of the patient and stole cash.

The incident was reportedly caught on hospital surveillance cameras.

"It's not good for him, it's not good for anyone, but the fact that things like this happen, we have to deal with them in some way and if an investigation has to occur then so be it," Jakuv Dziedzic of Port Richmond said.

Philadelphia Police will only confirm that East Detectives are looking into the alleged theft. However, there has been no arrest and no charges have been filed.

The Firefighters Union says the firefighter, who has been on the job somewhere between 9 and 11 years, spent Tuesday at East Detectives being questioned with his union rep by his side.

He has been taken off the job at Engine 28 and placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

Neighbors who know the firehouse well say the accusation is hard to believe.

"That's up to the law. I can't make judgments. I'm not God and I'm not the law. All I can say is, that firehouse, I hope it stays there as long as I'm around," Port Richmond resident Gerri Szymkowski said.

The Philadelphia Firefighters Union president says these accusations happen, and many times they are false, which is why the union is investigating.

Other people related to this case were also questioned by police investigators on Tuesday.

More information on the case is expected to be released today.