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Arrest made after firefighter’s wallet stolen as he battled wildfires, CA officials say


A man who allegedly stole the wallet of a firefighter combating the CZU Lightning Complex fires in California has been arrested, officials said Thursday.

Brian Johnson, 37, of Live Oak, was arrested in connection with the theft of a firefighter’s wallet after tips from the community flooded in, the Santa Cruz County Sheriff’s Office said in a Facebook post.

Chief Mark Bruton announced the theft during a briefing on Sunday, McClatchy News reported, and said that someone had broken into a fire commander’s department vehicle while he was directing crews to battle the fires in Santa Cruz and San Mateo counties.

The person “drained” the commander’s bank account along with stealing some of his personal effects, officials said.

“It’s saddening, it’s sickening and we are doing everything we can to try to help the community and unfortunately, this happens,” Bruton said.

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