An investigation into a burglary at the Pine River Fire Station has led to the criminal arrest of a 28-year old Merrill man and the referral of two 16- year old Wausau teens on charges related to the incident.
On Tuesday evening members of the fire department found the station had been entered and an office had been forcibly entered. Stolen items included cash, a radio head set, GPS units and digital and video cameras.
Because of numerous petty thefts earlier in the month an officer of the fire department had installed two cameras in the building. When the recordings from these were checked it showed Michael D. Baumann and the two teenagers in the station early Sunday morning. Baumann admitted being in the station but said he was not aware of thefts, although based on statements obtained later Baumann was aware the pair was stealing from the station when he brought them there and making entries into the building when he was not with them.
Baumann at the time was a volunteer fire fighter for the PRFD. The teens knew Baumann’s key code to enter the building and returned later and stole most of the items.
Baumann was arrested Wednesday evening and charged with party to a crime of burglary, theft and obstructing an officer. The teens were contacted at their residences in Wausau and most of the stolen items have been recovered. At a bond hearing on Thursday Baumann was released on a signature bond.
According to an officer on the fire department Baumann was terminated immediately after he was formally charged on Thursday.