A New Haven, Connecticut firefighter has been placed on leave amid allegations that he stole from an elderly woman.
According to FOX CT, New Haven Fire Chief Allyn Wright said that the investigation has been going on for a couple of weeks. Chief Wright said his decision to place the firefighter on paid leave was done for the “betterment of the department.”
The firefighter, who has been with the department for years, is accused of stealing from a 94-year-old woman over the course of several years. Currently, it is unclear how much money he took from her account.
Fellow firefighters contacted the police earlier this month after meeting the woman on a non-fire medical emergency call. She told them that the firefighter had gained access to her financial accounts and had stolen money from her over a period of years.
The woman initially told firefighters about the problem in December 2014. At the time, she complained about a check being cashed in her name. She spoke to the firefighter under investigation about it and didn’t pursue the matter any further.
The suspended firefighter had power of attorney over the woman he allegedly stole from until this week when a probate judge named North Haven attorney Americo Carchia as the 94-year-old woman’s conservator.
Earlier this week, police obtained a warrant and searched two lockers belonging to the firefighter in question at the firehouse he works in.
The investigation is being supervised by Sgt. Elisa Tuozzoli of the police department’s financial crimes unit and is being conducted by Detective Rose Reid.
Firefighters union President Jimmy Kottage, commended the firefighters for contacting the police with the information.
“That’s not acceptable behavior,” Kottage said. “If it’s proven true, we don’t want firefighters like that.”
Chief Wright stresses these are just allegations at this point, and there have been no arrests.
“I want the citizens of the city of New Haven to know that they can rest assured that when we come into their homes we`re not going to take anything that doesn`t belong to us,” said Chief Wright. “We’re there to protect property and save lives, not to steal property.”