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FDNY firefighter charged with false alarms. Emptied firehouses to steal cash from locker rooms.

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Daniel Beekman, New York Daily News:

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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Comments - Add Yours

  • Old Man1

    If the charges are true what a low life that steals from his fellow brothers and sisters.

  • SFC

    What a low life scum.

  • Former Chief

    My first inclination was to just type the word MUTT and be done with it. But, is there something going on in this guys life that has caused this behavior? Or, maybe, he is just a MUTT. In any event, a black eye for the fire service that we don’t need.

  • JustSayin’


    NYFD … just an average FD
    striving to make vollies look good….

  • Earl

    The sad part about this story is if you need the money ask, you probably would have recieved it along with a couple stern questions. I am all about helping out a colleague down on their luck but I also would want to see if other help is needed besides financial. My main concern would be drug addiction which would turn out being the number one priority if he/she would accept that help. I am not sticking up for the guy but let’s remember, we are all human and make mistakes. I am sure there is more to this story that we may never hear about.

  • Truckie88


  • Sharppointy1

    What a bum, robbing fellow FF’s. If this is true, I hope he gets the book thrown at him.

  • Mack Seagrave

    It’s great that this P-O-S was caught. He’ll do some time but more importantly he’ll no longer be a member of the F.D.N.Y..

  • ukfbbuff

    What a waste!

    He kept someone else who really wanted the job from getting it.