Sheriff: Seasonal firefighter stole pickup from Kalama fire stat - KPTV - FOX 12

Sheriff: Seasonal firefighter stole pickup from Kalama fire station as crews battled wildfire

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Photo: Gresham Police Department Photo: Gresham Police Department

A seasonal firefighter stole a pickup from Cowlitz County Fire District 5 as crews battled the Archer Mountain Fire, according to deputies.

Rian Tyler Struckman, 39, was arrested Saturday and booked in to the Cowlitz County Jail on charges of burglary, trafficking of stolen property, theft of a motor vehicle and driving with a suspended license.

The investigation began earlier this month when work and personal gear, along with two vehicles, were stolen from the station on Todd Road in Kalama.

At the time, crews were battling the wildfire created by embers from the Eagle Creek Fire that jumped the river to Washington.  

A pickup owned by the fire department was recovered in Gresham. A firefighter’s personal jeep that was stolen was also later recovered in Portland.

Investigators said Struckman became the focus of the investigation after a man contacted the sheriff’s office to report giving Struckman a ride to the station through a ride-sharing app.

The man said he did not know Struckman. He said Struckman gave the man a laptop to thank him for the ride, but the man contacted the sheriff’s office after seeing news reports about the fire station burglary.

Kalama firefighters confirmed the laptop was stolen from the department.

The driver is cooperating with the investigation and is not being charged with a crime.

Detectives have also identified other people who were seen in the stolen jeep and further charges are expected. The names of those suspects have not been released by deputies.

Deputies said Struckman was a temporary-seasonal firefighter in Kalama. He is listed as a transient.

Investigators said he gained access to the station through a code-locked entry.

A 55-inch digital touch screen TV that was stolen from the station has not yet been recovered.

Anyone with information about this ongoing investigation is asked to contact the Cowlitz County Sheriff’s  Office at 360-577-3092.

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