MANTECA (CBS13) – An alleged thief blasted a firefighter with pepper spray after being caught trying to steal from a fire truck earlier this week, according to authorities.
The Manteca Police Department said the suspect — described as a white male wearing an Oakland A’s baseball cap — tried to steal a laptop out of the front seat of a Manteca Fire truck parked outside a Boys and Girls Club fundraiser Monday night.
One of the firefighters spotted the suspect, but when he confronted the alleged robber, the suspect attacked him and then fled on a BMX-style bike.
“The person pulled out what appeared to be pepper spray, sprayed the fireman in the face,” said Manteca Police Sgt. Ralph Colin.
The firefighter was rushed to the hospital and spent Tuesday recovering at home. The suspect, described as a white man in an Oakland A’s baseball cap, has not been located.
“You don’t usually find things being taken from fire engines or police cars. Nobody is immune from being the victim of anything,” said Colin.
Nearby residents were shocked to learn someone would try and steal from a fire truck.
“Why would you spray a firefighter, why would you try and steal anything out of a fire truck?” asked neighbor Richard McGee.
“Would you go to a police car and try to steal it? I mean, really? I mean it’s the same thing, it’s off limits,” added Sara McGee.
Anyone with information on the culprit is asked to contact the Manteca Police Department.