A sticky-fingered firefighter called 911 with bogus reports so his colleagues would be sent into the field, giving him time to sneak into empty firehouses and steal cash from locker rooms, authorities said Friday.
Joseph Keene admitted to the scheme when interviewed by investigators and detectives Thursday, and on Friday was arraigned on charges of burglary, grand larceny, false reporting and other counts, according to the city Department Investigation and the Queens District Attorney’s office.
The sneaky firefighter used his personal cell phone to call in false reports on three occasions and stole cash from four different firehouses in Queens and Staten Island, a DOI probe found. He also filched cash from an FDNY facility on Randall’s Island, DOI said.
“For anybody to call in a fake 911 call when the police department, the fire department, EMS have so much to do is outrageous,” said Rose Gill Hearn, the commissioner for the Department of Investigation. “For it to be a firefighter doing it is beyond the pale of anything we have seen.”
Keene is also charged with stealing around $50 from the employees’ locker area at a Randall’s Island facility where he worked, and sneaking into a Queens firehouse and stealing $100.
Keene reported smelling gas in two of the emergency calls, and in the third he called about a sparking transformer, officials said.
Keene admitted Thursday he made the fake calls and stole the money, according to the Department of Investigation.
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