2 allegedly burglarized Chicago firehouse

December 9, 2011 6:37:44 PM PST
Chicago firefighters say they caught a pair of thieves burglarizing their firehouse while they were out on a call.

Anthony and Robert Depietro are charged with burglary. The two men allegedly stole a laptop belonging to a fire lieutenant who worked in the firehouse in the 4900-block of West Belmont, which is in the city's Cragin neighborhood.

The prosecutor alleges Robert was a lookout at the Northwest Side firehouse while Anthony grabbed a laptop from inside. But the two didn't get far.

"As we were returning from a false alarm, we saw two gentlemen running across the street from the direction of the firehouse. One dropped something. I noticed it was my power cord from my computer. Another one had something concealed under his coat," said Lieutenant Ken Pallister

"They were going to a car across the street. So we angled our truck to block that car...it blocked that car and then the engine pulled up behind us," said Capt. Daniel Draper.

"All the firemen got out, detained them until the police got there. Other units arrived. Other engines, trucks, the chief arrived. We turned the people over to the people to the police and they took them away," said Lieutenant Pallister.

Later in the day, it was a calmer scene at the firehouse for Engine 7. The firefighters were back at the ready for a call and Lieutenant Pallister had his laptop. They expect the incident will remind firefighter to take care with their personal items even as they're heading out to a call.

"It's just lucky timing that we came back when we did," said Pallister.

"You get a little complacent as time goes on and nothing happens. Maybe this will spur some more action on the part of people," said Draper.

The lieutenant tells ABC7 that initially one of the suspects said he was using the laptop to find a nearby gas station. In court an assistant state's attorney said Anthony Depietro admitted to taking the laptop. Both are being held on $90,000 bonds.

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