FDNY Members Catch Purse Thief in Brooklyn
(L to R) FF Christopher Suhr, FF Jarjeam Felton, FF Kevin Balslov, FF Anthony Cafro and Lt. James Kivlan.
Firefighters from Engine 280 were on a routine building inspection on July 18, when they found themselves in the middle of a very unusual rescue.
They were outside a building on Park Place, when a woman from the neighborhood, whose car was parked in front of their fire engine, dropped her pocketbook inside the vehicle before quickly heading into a nearby building.
They saw a man was watching the situation close by, and as firefighters were getting back on the apparatus, he snatched the woman’s purse from her car.
Firefighter Suhr was the first to notice and yelled at the alleged robber to stop.
The man panicked and ran down the street, with Lt. James Kivlan, and Firefighters Suhr, Anthony Cafro, Jarjeam Felton and Kevin Balslov chasing him both on foot and with the rig, radioing for police as they did.
The man tried to duck into buildings as he ran, but all the doors he tried were locked. When they reached Classon Avenue and Prospect Place, about a block down the road, firefighters reached the man and tackled him to the ground.
The man did not fight and they removed a screwdriver from his hand as they waited for police from the 77th Precinct to arrive.
“[The victim] was emotional about it,” Lt. Kivlan said. “Even the people on the street were walking by saying ‘thank you.’ It went pretty smoothly.”
The woman told them she had a sizeable amount of money in her bag, so she thanked each member when it was returned.
“The firefighters continued the chase the whole time, they didn’t give up,” Lt. Kivlan said. “They were happy to help and the woman was very happy to have her bag returned.”