Crime

Two arrested after allegedly stealing firefighting equipment

San Luis Obispo police arrested two men Monday morning on suspicion of stealing clothing and equipment from a local firefighter’s vehicle.

Casey Cerro, 27, and Esteban Mota, 26, were arrested at 7:48 a.m. Monday, according to Sgt. Brian Amoroso of the San Luis Obispo Police Department. Both men are transients.

Amoroso said police received a report Monday that property including firefighting clothing, department equipment and accessories had been taken from a vehicle downtown belonging to firefighter with a San Luis Obispo City Fire Department.

Several hours later, fire department personnel spotted two men with some of the stolen equipment riding bicycles near Caudill Street and Victoria Avenue, Amoroso said.

Police officers searched the area and located the pair at the Goodwill outlet store on Industrial Way, he said, recovering a large portion of the stolen accessories and equipment in the process.

While officers were investigating the first theft, a woman reported having tools taken from her vehicle in the area of the Amtrak train station. The suspects seen in the Amtrak area matched the descriptions of Cerro and Mota, who were found to be in possession of the stolen tools, Amoroso said.

According to Amoroso, Cerro was charged with possessing stolen property, burglary tools and drug paraphernalia, while Mota was charged with possessing stolen property.

Cerro and Mota were being held Monday in County Jail in lieu of $40,000 bail each.

Police are now investigating whether there were additional victims. Residents are asked to notify police if they see anyone with stolen firefighting equipment.

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