St. Pete Fire Rescue lieutenant accused of stealing COVID-19 vaccine

Investigators say a St. Pete Fire Rescue lieutenant has been charged with stealing a COVID-19 vaccine.

After two vaccine doses turned up missing from the city's vaccine distribution operation on Jan. 20, St. Pete Fire Rescue Chief James Large asked the police department to investigate the theft.

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Detectives said they determined that Fire Rescue Lt. Duane Zagorsky was eligible to receive one vaccine, but took the second vaccine home to a family member.

According to police, that's considered a misdemeanor petit theft since the single vaccine dose is valued at $39.

St. Pete Fire Rescue Lt. Duane Zagorsky

The agency said Zagorsky qualified for the Pinellas County Adult Pre-Arrest Diversion Program. Once the program is completed, he will not have a criminal charge on his record.

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Investigators said Zagorsky has been a member of St. Pete Fire Rescue for 15 years. An internal investigation is still underway to determine what city employee policies he violated and what his discipline will be.

This is not the first stolen vaccine case in the Tampa Bay area. In late January, a Polk County fire captain and paramedic were both arrested for taking doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.