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Cops say man took Commerce Twp. fire truck to visit mom

Mark Hicks
The Detroit News

It was news Marcus Leece hadn’t ever heard in his 15 years working at Commerce Township Fire Station 2.

His partner was leaving the post on Commerce Road about 4:20 p.m. Friday afternoon after poring over a radio communication plan only to find the bright red fire rescue unit parked in the driveway was gone.

“We didn’t know exactly when it left or who took it,” Leece said. “We didn’t see or hear anything. … We thought someone was playing a joke on us.”

As it turns out, a 32-year-old township resident drove off in the truck and is now facing charges, the Oakland County Sheriff’s Office said.

Shortly after the department was alerted, an aviation unit spotted the vehicle less than two miles away, outside the Huron Valley-Sinai Hospital emergency room, Sheriff’s Sgt. Dale Brown said.

Security personnel saw the man climb out of the vehicle and into an ambulance, Brown said.

“He got out of that ambulance and was walking through the lot when deputies arrived,” he said. “He started to run but was apprehended without incident.”

What reason did the man give police for driving off with firefighter apparatus?

“He indicated he wanted to go see his mother, who he thought or believed was at Huron Valley Hospital,” Brown said.

The man was taken to Oakland County Jail and could be arraigned Saturday, Brown said.

Meanwhile, the fire rescue unit — which totes specialized equipment and a pump carrying 500 gallons of water — has returned to its home at the township’s fire Station 3 without damage, Leece said, adding there’s usually no room for it inside Station 2.

“We’re just thankful we got the truck back and nobody got hurt,” he said. “We’re pretty dumbfounded about the whole thing.”

mhicks@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2117