UNION CITY, Ga. (FOX 5 Atlanta) - Firefighters are now parking their vehicles in a fire station bay following recent car break-ins at Union City's Fire Station No. 3 on Oakley Industrial Boulevard.
Someone broke into firefighters' personal vehicles on August 4, August 15 and again on August 18 while crews were out on calls. In one instance, a crook made off with a firefighter's gun, which was secured in his vehicle. The employee parking lot isn't gated. It backs up to a subdivision and an apartment complex and people often use it as a cut-through. Union City Fire Battalion Chief Dennis Moore told FOX 5's Deidra Dukes, "We have a lot of foot traffic through our parking lot, so it's not uncommon to see people in our parking lot. It is uncommon to see our cars broken into."
A relative of one of the victims, who asked not to be identified told FOX 5 News, "There are people wondering where are our leaders and what are they going to do to keep us safe. Do they even care."
She said firefighters and their families are upset about the crime but fear retaliation so they aren't speaking publicly. The woman says firefighters shouldn't fear for their safety at work. "They signed up for some risk in the job, but that certainly didn't include criminals breaking into their personal vehicles."
Chief Moore said the city is exploring long-term solutions like erecting a fence to secure the parking lot.
"We try to focus on the task at hand and the job that we've agreed to do, but it is concerning. You want the stuff that you worked hard for, you want it to be there when you get home."