‘It’s sickening’: Firefighter battling Bay Area fires robbed while on duty, Cal Fire says

West

Ben Slaughter, a firefighter for the Boulder Creek Fire Department, walks along Highway 9 while monitoring flames from the CZU August Lightning Complex Fire, Saturday, Aug. 22, 2020, in Boulder Creek, Calif. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

SANTA CRUZ, Calif. (NewsNation) – A Santa Cruz Fire Ground Commander battling a Bay Area fire was robbed by looters over the weekend, according to Cal Fire.

When the firefighter returned to his work vehicle after working all day, he noticed his wallet was missing, and he later realized his entire bank account had been drained.

“It’s unfortunate. It’s sickening that one of our Fire Ground Commanders, while out taking care of business and directing firefighting crews, somebody entered his department vehicle and stole his wallet and drained his bank account,” a Cal Fire official said in the briefing.

Cal Fire tweeted about the incident, emphasizing the importance of staying out of evacuated zones.

Five people were arrested Friday on multiple charges including looting, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said.

Friday afternoon, there were reports of looters targeting residents who were forced to leave their homes due to the fires.

Sheriff’s deputies patrolled Friday evening to observe and make sure the looters stayed away. Cal Fire tweeted about the incident, emphasizing the importance of staying out of evacuated zones.

The CZU Lightning Complex fires, affecting San Mateo and Santa Cruz counties, have expanded to more than 71,000 acres and are 17% contained at last check.

Wildfires in California

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