TOWN OF ELMIRA, N.Y. (WETM) – The Chemung County Sheriff’s Office announced a 40-year-old Elmira man is facing a Petite Larceny Class A misdemeanor charge after being arrested Sunday for allegedly stealing cans & bottles from the East Hill Volunteer Fire Department. If convicted, a Class A misdemeanor can carry a penalty of up to one year in jail and a fine.

East Hill Fire Department Captain Bud Baldwin told 18 News a neighbor reported seeing two men take bags of cans and bottles from its donation drop-off trailer on 266 Jerusalem Hill Road. Captain Baldwin says a volunteer firefighter responded in his vehicle and confronted the men as they walked away. The firefighter then made the men return the bags to the station. Captain Baldwin says the men returned the bags without resistance. He says the Chemung County Sheriff’s Office was called and they were arrested.

“They were cooperative, they came back. They knew what they did. But you have to make an example. We don’t know how many times that happens. This is the second time it happened to us. I know the Baldwin Fire Department down the road has had it happen. It’s not a lot of money but if you don’t stop it, it’s going to be a lot of money, and they’re stealing from the residents up here, not the fire department.”

Captain Baldwin says the department relies on fundraising efforts like bottles and can drives to help pay for equipment.

“We bought an ATV and a trailer, we bought rescue Res-Q-Jack struts for vehicle extrication, we bought a defibrillator, hoses, things like that. So that supplements our contract money with the town” said Baldwin.

Captain Baldwin says depending on the season, the fire department takes in about $700 dollars a month in bottles and cans.

You can watch the full interview with Captain Baldwin below: