Firefighter charged with larceny

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Police capture suspect “red handed”

By Carol A. Clark

Police filed multiple charges against Driver Engineer Steven Fierro of the Los Alamos Fire Department Wednesday for allegedly stealing money from a fellow firefighter.

Fierro, 46, has been the subject of a recent police investigation into a string of thefts at various Los Alamos fire stations. His name surfaced after Los Alamos police detectives analyzed fire logs that determine who was on duty when money went missing.

Det. Sgt. Fred Rascon and Det. Shari Mills set up a sting operation Monday applying theft detection powder to $100 in small bills, according to the police report.

The money was placed in a deposit bag used by a fellow firefighter whose money was stolen from his workplace in the past. The bag was left in the typical location at Fire Station 6 near the Los Alamos County Airport.

“The bag disappeared within two hours,” Rascon said. “Only two firefighters were in the station when the larceny occurred, one of which was Fierro, and we interviewed both of them. The evidence showed Fierro was the one who took the money and he ultimately confessed.”

Fierro has not confessed responsibility for any other thefts, Rascon said.

The detectives tracked and recovered some of the marked bills at Smiths Food and Drug Store on Central Avenue.

They also discovered Fierro had attempted to wipe the stain from the theft detection powder off of his hands. In doing so, he contaminated a towel with the powder, which the detectives discovered in the LAFD pickup he drove to Smiths, according to the police report.

Fierro is charged with four misdemeanors including two counts of larceny, one count of receiving stolen goods and one count of tampering with evidence. He will receive a summons to appear in court.

Rascon explained that the investigation determined that someone inside the organization was behind the thefts because of the manner in which they were occurring.

“This was a very isolated case. During the investigation we could see that the deception and breach of trust saddened the other firefighters,” Rascon said.

Fire Chief Doug Tucker discussed what he could during an interview late Wednesday.

“We’re in the middle of our administrative process so I can’t talk about the situation at this time,” Tucker said.

He did say that Fierro, who has worked for the LAFD for about 18 years, has been placed on administrative leave with pay pending finalization of the investigation, as is LAFD policy.