911 calls released after fire department vehicle stolen in Paulding County

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The 911 calls following the theft of a fire department vehicle have been released. A man is in custody accused of stealing the vehicle, driving erratically and causing damage to several road signs and mailboxes in Paulding County.

According to Steve Mapes, the Public Information Officer with Paulding County Fire & Rescue, Paulding County Fire Dispatch received unauthorized and distressed transmissions over the Department’s secure radio network around 9:55 a.m. Monday. Around the same time, the 911 center received several calls reporting a fire department vehicle was driving, “erratically, at high speeds, damaging several road signs and mailboxes, and crossing into oncoming traffic causing at least one accident involving another vehicle,” according to Mapes.

The stolen vehicle, which was identified as Rescue #3, was involved in a second accident near the 600 block of Mt. Tabor Church Road and was seriously damaged, according to Mapes.

Mapes said the suspect, who is in his 20’s, attempted to leave the crash scene, but was quickly caught by Paulding County Sheriff’s Deputies.

During the time of the vehicle theft, staff from Fire Station #3 was participating in training exercises several blocks away, according to Mapes. The suspect was able to force entry to the station and drive the Department vehicle through the bay door, even though the fire station was secure, Mapes added.

No one was injured and the name of the suspect has not been released.