COLLEGE STATION, Texas A College Station firefighter has resigned after police say he stole nearly $900 worth of merchandise.
Fire officials said Curtis Donahoe, 43, out of Fire Station Number 2, turned in his resignation on Friday morning.
Police said on January 2, Donahoe walked in to the Lowe's on Hwy 6 South near William D Fitch, dressed in his firefighter uniform.
Once inside, police said he picked up a Dewalt 5 piece combo tool set and took it to the return counter. Donahoe told the clerk he wanted to return the tool set but didn't have a receipt.
"The clerk gave him a gift card in the amount of almost $600 in exchange for that item that he had never purchased," said Lieutenant Chuck Fleeger with the College Station Police Department.
Fleeger said the clerk asked Donahoe to show his drivers license driver’s license, which he did.
All of it was captured on the store’s surveillance camera. Police said the man on the video matches Donahoe’s driver’s license photo.
"During the follow up of this investigation, detectives were able to learn of a different offense that occurred at a different location involving the same suspect," Fleeger said.
According to a probable cause statement, Donahoe stole a Go Pro camera from the Target on Texas Avenue in College Station.
According to the statement, surveillance footage shows Donahoe walk into the electronics department with his fire department jacket unzipped, grab the camera, valued at $299, and take it to an empty aisle in the garden section. He then stuffs it into his jacket and is seen walking out of the store with his jacket zipped up and the “shape of the (Go Pro) box visible through the jacket.”
Investigators said when questioned Tuesday about the theft at Lowe’s, Donahoe admitted to returning the tools, but first claimed he had purchased them. He changed his story when police presented the evidence against him and Donahoe admitted the theft, police said.
On Thursday, police obtained two warrants for Donahoe’s arrest - Class A Theft ($500-$1500) for the tools and Class B Theft ($50-$500) for the Go Pro camera. Donahoe turned himself in to the Brazos County Sheriff’s Office and posted bond.
Fleeger said it's always hard when a case involves a public servant.
"It's unfortunate when anyone chooses to steal property that doesn't belong to them," said Fleeger. "And anything that could eventually erode trust of the public to any first responder is potentially harmful to our over all mission."
Fleeger said as of now, he's only been accused of the crime.
"As with any citizen, he will have his opportunity in court to confront these charges," said Fleeger.
College Station Fire Chief Eric Hurt said “The College Station Fire Department and all of its members are deeply saddened and disappointed by the actions that came to light through this investigation. We're appreciative of all the support from the community and the trust they place in our organization every day. We will continue to uphold the highest standards expected of our department and this city, and continue to work to make a difference every day."
Donahoe has been arrested at least twice before. He was arrested in 2000 for theft by check and in 2004 for theft. Both charges were eventually dropped. Currently, Donahoe is charged with two counts of theft, both of which are misdemeanor charges.
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