5 Central Florida fire stations hit by burglars while firefighters are on shift

Burglars are targeting firefighters in Central Florida. According to officials, criminals are breaking into firefighter’s cars while they are on shift.

"It’s unconscionable, it’s criminal and it’s preying on folks that are literally taking an oath and willing to give their life to help serve the community," John Westmoreland of Orange County Fire Rescue said. "The thought of their vehicles being broken into it’s sickening, and it’s maddening."

Three fire stations in Orange County were targeted between June 30 and July 1: OCFRD Station 34 (4000 Winter Garden Vineland Road), OCFRD Station 44 (14230 Reams Road), and OCFRD Station 33 (1700 S. Apopka Vineland Road).

According to the Seminole County Fire Department, two of their stations (Stations 12 & 14) were hit on July 1.

"These crimes have been happening after midnight," Westmoreland said. "There’s some indication that we’ve had some false calls and then the break-ins occurring afterwards."

It’s a trend nationwide, according to Westmoreland. Over the last six months, a rash of similar incidents have been reported in Tennessee, South Carolina, Georgia, Missouri, and Colorado.

Last year, FOX 35 reported half a dozen other instances of car burglaries targeting firefighters again in Orange and Seminole counties. That was when Seminole County firefighter John Baker had a gun stolen from his truck.

Now, stations in Seminole and Orange counties are taking steps to improve or reinforce security measures.

Most fire stations do have security cameras. There is no word yet on whether any of the burglaries were caught on camera.

FOX 35 was told no guns were reported stolen from the Seminole County stations. We're still waiting to hear back from Orange County regarding the same question.