Retired Calif. Captain Accused of Stealing from Firehouse

Retired Calif. Captain Accused of Stealing from Firehouse

News Jan 25, 2013

Jan. 25--MARTINEZ -- The Contra Costa District Attorney's Office will consider filing felony charges next week against a newly retired fire captain accused of ransacking local firehouses of everything from expensive gear and uniforms to toilet paper and pencils.

Former Contra Costa Fire District Capt. Jon Wilmot, a 51-year-old Alamo resident, is free from County Jail on $30,000 bail after his Dec. 10 arrest on suspicion of grand theft and burglary, according to the Sheriff's Office.

Search warrants executed that same day at Wilmot's homes in Alamo and Concord, his mother's house in Orinda, and on his six cars and trucks resulted in authorities confiscating 268 items believed to be fire district-owned gear, uniforms, tools and supplies, according to Contra Costa Superior Court documents.

Wilmot served the district for 27 years before retiring in mid-December, around the time of his arrest.

The court this week sealed a restraining order that the fire district obtained against Wilmot in December. Wilmot "has made numerous indirect, passive aggressive actions toward members of the Fire District ... the behavior accompanied by his large cache of illegal weapons creates a significant concern for all Fire District employees," the district wrote in a petition for the restraining order obtained exclusively by NBC Bay Area.

The petition, which has been sealed by the court, says that investigators' seizure of 53 guns and thousands of rounds of ammunition from Wilmot's property has sparked an investigation by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, NBC Bay Area reported.

Wilmot threatened to rape and decapitate a woman who accidentally called his phone and hung up, and he gave a co-worker a bullet with the co-worker's name on it, according to the documents cited by NBC Bay Area.

The Contra Costa Sheriff's Office would not comment on specifics about the case Thursday. Fire district officials did not return calls for comment, and Wilmot could not be reached.

The fire district began investigating Wilmot in May after a colleague took video of him leaving the Mt. Diablo Boulevard station in Lafayette with a chain saw, an iron skillet and sports drinks -- all believed to be district property.

The case was handed over to the Lafayette Police Department in late September, when the district reported an elliptical machine and recumbent bike missing from the closed firehouse on Los Arabis Drive in Lafayette, according to a search warrant affidavit obtained by this paper.

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On multiple occasions, Wilmot was either filmed or seen by co-workers taking suspected fire district property while off-duty, the affidavit says.

Wilmot earned more than $102,000 in base salary and slightly more than $100,000 in overtime pay in 2011, according to public records.

"We were very disappointed when we heard the details of the charges against, now Retired Fire Captain, Jon Wilmot and the allegations," Vince Wells, president of the firefighters' union, wrote in a news release. "Local 1230 members do not condone or support this type of behavior if these allegations are true. Our members have been and will continue to cooperate with the district and law enforcement, to see that this situation is dealt with appropriately."

Contact Malaika Fraley at mfraley@bayareanewsgroup.com. Follow her at Twitter.com/malaikafraley.

Copyright 2013 - Contra Costa Times

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Contra Costa Times
Malaika Fraley and Daniel M. Jimenez
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