Equipment stolen from firefighters fighting Detwiler Fire recovered

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Thousands of dollar?s worth of stolen firefighting equipment was recovered after it was stolen fire crews working on the Detwiler Fire. (KFSN)

Thousands of dollar's worth of stolen firefighting equipment was recovered after it was stolen fire crews working on the Detwiler Fire.

The California Highway Patrol in Stockton arrested 30-year-old Tyler Boyle after they stopped his stolen car, and found some of the equipment inside.

"We're outraged that someone would come here and do this. These men and women are here, literally risking their lives to protect us and protect our homes, and for them to be victimized while they're doing is it absolutely unacceptable," said Becky Hagen, CHP Officer.

Authorities said the thefts started on Sunday in Merced County when the crews staying in Santa Nella reported several radios and uniforms stolen.

"They're going up there, risking their lives to fight fire, and people are taking advantage of that by going through and stealing their equipment," said Daryl Allen, Merced Co. Sheriff's Deputy.

Merced Police said they also received at least five reports on Monday alone regarding stolen fire equipment at different locations along Motel Drive in Merced.

"This is necessary for these men and women to do their job, so it really puts a strain on everybody," said Curt Gorman, Merced Police.

CHP officers said Boyles has a history of auto theft and burglaries. They also said after serving search warrants they were able to find more stolen fire equipment at other residences associated with the suspect.

Thousands of officers are staying in Merced as they continue to work on the Detwiler Fire. Cal Fire officials said stealing equipment from the fire crews hampers fire efforts and put's citizens in danger.

"They can't fight a fire without the proper protection gear-- if it's been stolen off a fire engine, how is it going to help us? It puts that engine out of service," said Nancy Koerperich, Merced Co. Fire Chief.

Boyle was booked into the San Joaquin County Jail-- CHP officers said he is charged with possession of stolen property, along with possession of a firearm.

Cal Fire said those tools were returned to the fire fighters, and are back to work on the fire.
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