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The Spokesman-Review Newspaper
Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Stevens County fire district on the search for stolen air compressor: ‘They’re stealing from our community and taxpayers’

A fire district in Addy, Washington, said a brand-new $1,800 air compressor essential for fast response times was stolen from their new station on Sunday.

The Stevens County Fire District No. 5 noticed on Sunday the air compressor had been removed from its bolts on the delivery pallet, said Rodger Neyens, the district’s fire commissioner. The fact it was bolted down made Neyens believe the theft had been planned.

Neyens said the air compressor was delivered to a station where the district planned to relocate in about two weeks. Until Tuesday, the new facility did not have working locks and anyone could walk through it, Neyens said.

Though they had not used the air compressor yet, they planned to use it on bigger rigs to charge the air brakes. Charged air brakes reduce firefighters’ response times, Neyens said.

“We’ll definitely see a future effect if we don’t get it replaced,” Neyens said.

The district posted on its Facebook about the theft and saw widespread support, Neyens said. As of Wednesday afternoon, the post had been shared more than 1,000 times.

“We’re putting the word out there and hoping someone will spot it,” Neyens said.

The compressor is a blue vertical tank that weighs over 500 pounds and holds 6 gallons, the district said on its Facebook page. Neyens said the district is running a tight budget and avoided purchasing security cameras for the facility, but this theft – the second time the station has had something stolen from it – has made them reconsider.

“When they steal from us, they’re stealing from our community and taxpayers,” Neyens said. “It affects more than just the district.”