IRVINE : Would-Be Firefighter Accused of Stealing Gear

A would-be firefighter, who is alleged to have stolen a fireman's uniform and other equipment, told police he had been helping snuff out blazes in Riverside and Orange counties, Irvine police said Friday.

Sunday, when Brea police arrested Roderick A. Cameron, 31, of Fullerton on suspicion of drunken driving, he was wearing a firefighter's helmet and jacket identified as equipment stolen from a Orange County Fire Department in Irvine on April 10, Lt. Mike White said. The city contracts with the county for fire protection services.

Police said Cameron told them he was a firefighter returning from a blaze in Riverside County where he had been "working on hot spots with a shovel," White said. A police radio and breathing apparatus was also found in Cameron's car.

White said police are investigating whether Cameron did join the front lines at various fires. "I don't see why he couldn't," said White. "He had the equipment and the police radio."

Cameron was released from Orange County jail on bail but still faces charges of drunk driving, driving without a license and burglary, White said.

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