Stolen fire extinguishers possibly used to propel skateboarders

Officials think the extinguishers are being used to propel skateboards.

BRADENTON, Fla. -- Bradenton police are investigating a rash of stolen fire extinguishers from the downtown parking garage.

Bradenton police say since October the city has replaced or refilled 20 fire extinguishers from the parking garage. The thefts have left drivers without a fire extinguisher in case of an emergency.

“This is not a game, not fun," says Assistant Police Chief Josh Cramer with Bradenton Police. Cramer. “You are putting people at risk, putting property at risk, It’s a felony a third-degree felony grand theft of a fire extinguisher. We can arrest you right on the spot.”

 Skateboarder Matt Luke, who is known as ‘Lambchop.” loves speed, any way he can get it. He says one favorite method is using a fire extinguisher.

“You hold a fire extinguisher towards the ground, and it creates a force against the ground," Luke said. "You can go fast (and) it creates smoke thing behind you.”

It looks similar to a YouTube video from Street Science on the Science Channel.

“We ride on the back of cars. We use anything to go fast … cause it’s dangerous, we get a rush,” explained Matt.

But this trend has turned into a crime. We found tracks leading from a recently emptied fire extinguisher case at the downtown Bradenton parking garage.

Cramer said, “People are using fire extinguishers using as propellants to get down skateboards or bikes.”

  Bradenton police say they are working some leads.

The parking garage doesn’t have cameras but city officials are thinking of installing some.

Each fire extinguisher and damaged case costs about $200 to replace.

 

© 2018 WTSP-TV


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