FDNY Firefighter Made Fake 911 Calls So He Could Rob Firehouses: Officials

New York City firefighter Joseph Keene faces felony charges for making the fake calls as well as for grand larceny and burglary.

Friday, Jul 19, 2013  |  Updated 10:04 PM CDT
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Firefighter Made Fake 911 Calls, Stole: Officials

Firefighter Joseph Keene was charged with making fake 911 calls and then stealing from firehouses.

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A firefighter is accused of making fake 911 calls so he could sneak into empty firehouses in Queens and Staten Island to steal money while firefighters were out responding to his calls.

Firefighter Joseph Keene is charged with allegedly making three 911 calls during May and June about nonexistent fire emergencies and then stealing around $1,900 from other FDNY employees while they were gone, authorities said.

"For anybody to call in a fake 911 call when the police department, the fire department, EMS have so much to do is outrageous," said Rose Gill Hearn, the commissioner for the Department of Investigation. "For it to be a firefighter doing it is beyond the pale of anything we have seen."

Keene is also charged with stealing around $50 from the employees' locker area at a Randall's Island facility where he worked, and sneaking into a Queens firehouse and stealing $100.

Keene reported smelling gas in two of the emergency calls, and in the third he called about a sparking transformer, officials said.

Keene admitted Thursday he made the fake calls and stole the money, according to the Department of Investigation.

He faces felony charges for making the fake calls as well as for grand larceny and burglary.

Information on a lawyer for Keene was not immediately available. 

--Andrew Siff contributed reporting

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