Posted at: 01/22/2013 11:05 PM
Updated at: 01/22/2013 11:35 PM
By: Dan Levy
A local firefighter is behind bars tonight, charged with stealing equipment from his own fire company.
It's likely 39-year-old James Turley may have gotten away with the alleged scheme if it hadn't been for another alert firefighter in the area.
Colonie Police say Turley, who lives in Albany but also happens to be a volunteer firefighter in Colonie, has been stealing equipment from the Shaker Road Loudonville Fire Department for more than a month, and bringing it to the "X Change Cash and Trade Pawn Shop" on Central Avenue to cash in on it.
The pawn shop has been selling surplus fire helmets, a fire jacket, a pair of fire trousers, an air-mask, and other items on-line.
Police say Turley told the pawn shop operator the fire house was closing down and the equipment was no longer needed.
Another Colonie firefighter came into the pawn shop and recognized some of the equipment. That's when police were contacted.
“The store owners, work close to this fire house, they didn't know that the fire house was closing it seemed like a very plausible explanation. They took this merchandise in and they were selling it through the internet. There was not a market for it here but they were selling it and making a profit on it and it occurred over a period of about a month. It did not seem unusual to them,” said Lt. Robert Winn, of Colonie Police.
Turley is in the Albany County Jail, unable to raise $10,000 bail.
Since the value of items allegedly stolen was about $3,600 he's charged with grand larceny.
He's due back in town court Wednesday night.