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Phoenix firefighter charged with robbing colleagues, arson

(Facebook/Phoenix Fire Department)

PHOENIX — A Phoenix firefighter was charged with multiple crimes Friday after allegedly robbing multiple fire stations and setting fires as a diversion.

“It’s difficult for us,” Phoenix Fire Department Capt. Larry Subveri said during a press conference. “We are a family.”

The Phoenix Police Department said the firefighter, 36-year-old Ryan Donahue, allegedly stole cash from the stations when he was off-duty and his colleagues were out on calls.

“Obviously, this person knew what they were looking for,” Phoenix Police Sgt. Alan Pfohl said.

It was not immediately known how much money Donahue allegedly took.

Pfohl also said the man allegedly set at least two fires in the West Valley as a distraction.

“We believe these fires were a ruse to get firefighters out of the station,” Pfohl said, adding that no one was injured in either blaze.

Donahue was charged with eight counts of theft, one count of criminal damage, one count of burglary and two counts of arson. Officials said he was arrested Friday after robbing a station near 43rd Avenue and Thomas Road.

More charges could be coming, as police were still investigating.

Subveri said Donahue was a “rover,” meaning he was not assigned to a specific station and instead was rotated depending on need.

Pfohl said investigators allegedly saw the 11-year veteran of the fire department committing crimes, but did not give further details.

Officials were unsure of the Donahue’s motive.

Police did not believe Donahue was connected to a suspected serial arsonist linked to as many as 20 Phoenix fires or recent thefts from police vehicles.

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