Vandals target Robeson County volunteer firefighters
Posted November 19, 2015
Parkton, N.C. — Some volunteer firefighters in Robeson County are under fire from vandals.
Someone has been breaking into the homes of Parkton volunteer firefighters and has even shot the fire station’s sign.
Parkton Fire Department Captain Jason Viar said that recently, several of his firefighters have been answering a different kind of alarm-burglar alarms at their own homes. The incidents started about a month ago, but some of the evidence still remains, including holes in the sign that were likely made with a pellet gun.
Authorities said it seems as though several of the volunteers were personally targeted.
"We've had five homes that have been broken into. One was the assistant chief. The most recent one was jus three days ago and he's actually a city firefighter as well," said Viar.
Parkton is in a rural area and the fire station is on the outskirts of town. The first break-in happened in October. The most recent incident occurred Monday, when someone kicked in the back door of a home belonging to a volunteer firefighter and stole his TV, computer and cell phone.
Viar said that all of the break-ins have happened while firefighters were at the station or out on calls.
"We've had a yard set on fire that belonged to a firefighter. We've had a vehicle that's been vandalized, our sign [was] vandalized. It's just sad," said Viar.
During the break-ins, thieves have made off with electronics, cameras, and other personal items. A dog owned by one of the firemen was also kicked and injured.
“We’re out here to help the community. We’re providing a service,” said Viar. “We drop everything we’re doing just to go out and try to help people that are in need and when you find out we’re being targeted, or it appears we’re being targeted … it’s disheartening.”
Viar isn’t sure if the break-ins and vandalism are a coincidence or if someone is actually targeting volunteers at this station. He said whatever the reason is, the volunteers just want it to stop.
The Robeson County Sheriff’s Office is investigating the incidents. Right now, they said they don’t have any suspects.