NEW YORK FIREMEN ROBBED OF PAY REIMBURSED BY FIREMEN’S ASS’N
Sneak Thief Steals Cash from Drawer While Company Answers False Alarm —Uniformed Firemen Return Amount Lost to Men
THE Uniformed Firemen’s Association in New York City, the largest body of organized paid firemen in this country, responded to the aid of the members of Engine Co. 201 in Brooklyn last week who were robbed of their pay for the first half of the month of December by a clever thief whose confederate pulled a false alarm from a distant box to which the company responded.
The plot was well timed, in that the thief knew just when the pay checks had been cashed by one fireman acting jointly for his comrades and when he returned to quarters with the money, amounting to 81,300 and was about to parcel it out, in struck the alarm. The money was pushed into a drawer, but was extracted while the fire company was out of quarters; which was about ten minutes.
One of the victims was a probationer who had exactly ten cents in his pockets. When the news of the theft spread throughout the department, the uniformed Firemen’s Association met the emergency. Fireman Richard A. Hill, secretary of the U. F. A. sent out a call through the association’s delegates in each fire house and asked lor twenty-five cents per man. There are approximately 4,700 members of the association.
Even the officers, who by reason of their rank are not members of the U. F. A. joined in the cause and many of them chipped in as much as a dollar.
This type of robbery is an old trick in New York, although it is not quite so common as the theft of official badges from the coats of firemen on watch duty.
It is a regular thing in New York to find that housewatchmen who must be in full uniform when on house duty at the patrol desk, discard their uniform coat when an alarm strikes to which the company rolls. Under the rules, a house watchman must have his official badge on his coat when on such duty. The coat is thrown on the chair of the house watchman’s desk. The doors are left wide open in the hurry to respond. Flat thieves have stolen such badges and used them to gain unlawful entrance to apartments, factories, lofts, etc.
Under a rule in New York, the member of the fire department losing his badge is penalized $5, regardless of the circumstances under which he lost it.