LAWTON, OK (RNN Texoma) -The Paradise Valley Volunteer Fire Department is searching for answers after thieves damaged their station and stole over three thousand dollars worth of equipment.
Fire Chief Tom Zivkovic with the Paradise Valley Volunteer Fire Department said he thinks the thieves may have been targeting him after he found an empty cooler belonging to the department outside of his home and his fire helmet in a garbage can.
Zivkovic has been with the department for over the 10 years. He said he’s never had to deal with something like this.
“I think it’s someone that doesn’t like me because they left the cooler right next to my driveway to my house," he said.
He said on Tuesday he took the cooler back to the station, that’s when he noticed the front door was open.
“They pried the door open so I don’t think it could be one of my firefighters, but because of the equipment they stole," said Zivkovic. "I think it may have been a firefighter.”
He said the incident was caught on camera but was unable to show 7 News the surveillance video.
However, he did say two people were involved and ran into their building with a pickup truck.
Zivkovic said they were in the fire department for over an hour rummaging through their office space, stealing their computer, cash and other unusual items.
“Thermal imaging camera, chainsaw, mask from a SCBA, were all missing and a generator," he said.
They also cut the fuel line on their rescue boat which he says they'll have to repair.
He said he not sure who would be trying to target him but wishes they wouldn’t have destroyed the department in the process.
“We get the money both form county money and donations so they’re stealing from the community," said Zivkovic. "And it’s equipment that we use to help the community to keep our firefighters safe. So, it’s really for them to come into the fire department and vandalize it and steal equipment is really childish.”
Comanche County sheriffs department is investigating the crime. They've also taken the Chief's helmet in for fingerprints.
Zivkovic said they plan to go through the surveillance video and file an insurance claim.