Thief peels away in Melbourne Fire Department pickup

Keys were left in vehicle

Photo by Tim Shortt, Florida Today
Photo by Tim Shortt, Florida Today

MELBOURNE, Fla. – In a one-of-a-kind call for a stolen vehicle, Melbourne police recovered a pickup belonging to the Melbourne Fire Department on Thursday, News 6 partner Florida Today reported.

The unknown suspect hopped into the vehicle, which had been parked in front of Station 72 on Sarno Road near Wickham Road about 4 p.m., Fire Chief Chuck Bogle said. The firefighter who had been driving the pickup stepped outside and realized it was gone, Bogle said.

The keys had been left in the pickup, Bogle said.

"I've heard about other departments where ambulances were stolen" but Bogle couldn't recall his department having any of its vehicles taken before Thursday.

But the pickup wasn't taken far. The suspect drove east on Sarno, then traveled north and abandoned the pickup in the driveway of a home on Boyd Avenue, Bogle said. The driver fled on foot. 

Police were joined by the Brevard County Sheriff's Office for the investigation and the search for the suspect.