A recent theft at the Benson Road fire station has the fire district looking at more security for the facility.
“This incident has definitely pushed us into securing this building,” said chief Christopher Carleton at the December 10 meeting of fire district commissioners. “We have some high-value items in the station.”
Carleton reported that sometime between a November 29 fundraiser for the food bank and December 2, when the crime was discovered, someone entered the fire station and rifled through several lockers. The thief took several firefighters’ personal items and almost $1,000 and food items collected during the “boot drive,” recently held by firefighters. There was no sign of forced entry but a back door to the station was found unlocked. Carleton said the Whatcom County Sheriff’s Office was investigating the crime.
Carleton said the incident was “unprecedented and unsettling,” highlighting flaws in station security. Currently, the main door to the fire station is controlled by a pass code, and other doors have bar locks, which can be left unsecured. Carleton plans to work with a specialist to increase security measures, such as electronic card locks and cameras. He added he had also informed the firefighters’ association of the need to find more secure solutions for its fundraisers.