Robert John Burns Jr. busted for stealing drugs, gear from local fire stations

"That Fireman Who Wants Your Drugs May Not Be a Fireman," published back in February, noted that drugs had been stolen from ambulances at two Westminster fire stations, along with uniforms. Similar burglaries were reported at another eight metro-area stations.

This crime wave was hot -- but Westminster Police think they've cooled it off. And how appropriate that the person who's been booked for the Westminster incidents is named Burns.

Robert John Burns Jr., to be precise. According to the WPD, the 48-year-old Burns got his knowledge of fire stations by working as a mechanic on fire engines, and he used it to good -- make that bad -- advantage. Get more details below:

Theft from Ambulances-Suspect Arrested

March 30, 2010

Starting in October 2009, fire departments across the Front Range experienced a rash of burglaries at their stations. Narcotics appeared to be the reason for the burglaries, along with theft of various gear. Between October 2009 and February 2010 ten agencies have been broken into.

On January 26, 2010 and February 23, 2010 two Westminster Fire stations experienced similar thefts. The Westminster Police Department received several anonymous tips and Detectives followed up on every lead. One of these tips subsequently led to the arrest of Robert John Burns Jr. (DOB/07-09-61.)

Mr. Burns is not a firefighter; however he has knowledge of fire stations because he is a mechanic for a private company which services fire engines.

"This arrest is a result of great collaboration among the various fire agencies sharing information and the excellent investigative work of the Westminster Police Department. This diligent police work has taken a thief off the streets that jeopardized a number of fire department's ability to treat critical patients," said Westminster Deputy Fire Chief Bill Work. "Because of these incidents the fire department has reviewed and improved various safety protocols to tighten security at our fire stations and with our ambulances."

The Westminster Police Department would like to thank all of the law enforcement agencies and fire departments for their assistance in solving this case. We would like to remind the public that anonymous tips help in solving cases such as this one.

Mr. Burns was arrested and booked at the Westminster Police Department on the following charges:

• 18-4-203 (2)(B) Second Degree Burglary For Controlled Substances -- F (3)

• 18-4-502 First Degree Criminal Trespass To A Vehicle -- F (5)

• 18-4-401(2)(B.5) Theft Between $500-$1000 -- M(1)

Westminster Detectives are working with the Adams County District Attorney regarding the filing of charges.

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Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts