Firefighters returning to station after false alarm catch burglars

Tribune reporters

A Northwest Side Fire Department crew on a run Thursday evening returned to find two men leaving their headquarters with a laptop, a department spokesman said.

The firefighters returned to their firehouse at 4911 W. Belmont Ave. from a false alarm about 9:30 p.m. to interrupt the apparent burglary in progress, said Fire Department spokesman Sean Flynn.

The firehouse's commanding officer called for police assistance, and firefighters were able to hold the two men who had been trying to leave the firehouse.

This morning, burglary charges were filed against Anthony and Robert Depietro, both of the 4800 block of North Montclaire Avenue and 27 and 32 years old respectively. Bond was set at $90,000 each for Anthony and Robert Depietro in a midday Central Bond Court hearing presided over by Judge Laura Sullivan.

Firefighters had responded to a call in the area, but when they got there, no one was home, Assistant State’s Attorney Lorraine Scaduto said during the hearing.

When they returned to the firehouse, they saw Anthony Depietro exiting a side door of the station, while Robert acted as a lookout. They both got into a vehicle, which the crew pinned in with their fire truck until police arrived.

Anthony admitted to entering the building and taking the laptop, Scaduto said.

The laptop was the personal computer belonging to a lieutenant at the station, valued at $1,200, according to a police report.

Fire Department directories show Engine 7, Truck 58 and Ambulance 7 are headquartered at that location.

WGN-TV contributed

Copyright © 2018, Los Angeles Times
EDITION: California | U.S. & World