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Lifesaving equipment stolen from fire truck on busy Elkhart street

Lifesaving equipment, worth thousands of dollars, was stolen from an Osolo fire truck.

Now the chief is hoping the people who stole it bring it back.

That piece of equipment, worth $6,000, was stolen while the Osolo Fire Department was hosting their annual celebration dinner.

Fire Chief Mike Smith has been with the department for 18 years and has never seen a more brazen act against his department.

“This is a first since I’ve been here, and I’ve been here since 1999. Wonder why anybody would steal anything off of a fire truck, especially a piece of equipment that could save somebody’s life one day,” said Chief Smith.

On the evening of February 18th, the Osolo Fire Department was holding their annual celebration  dinner at the Matterhorn Restaurant on Cassopolis St. in Elkhart.

That’s when one of the firefighters noticed a strange car circling one of their fire trucks in the parking lot.

“When we went to check it we didn’t notice anything missing right away, but once we got back in house, we did a rig check and noticed a piece of equipment taken off our truck that night,” said Chief Smith.

Whoever did it, opened the unlocked, back sliding door, pulled out the sliding drawer and removed the device.

“It was a portable power unit, we use it for auto extrication. It’s a combination tool that we use to cut and pry metal apart when we have car accidents,” said Chief Smith.

That unit weighs close to 100 pounds and is worth $6000.

Those responsible are still on the loose.

“If they are watching, I am hoping they turn it in. Drop it off at the fire station and leave it on the back door or something. It’s a piece of equipment that could save somebody’s life someday,” said Chief Smith.

That generator was only 2 years old, but the chief told ABC 57 News they use it frequently for accidents and training purposes.

The next step is to contact the insurance company  and hope they can get another one to replace the stolen item.

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