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Ex-firefighter charged after failing to return equipment

Union Leader Correspondent

December 02. 2011 10:04PM

EPPING - A former firefighter is facing charges after he was allegedly found in possession of firefighting equipment he wasn't authorized to have and failed to return other gear following his termination from the department, police said.

Robert Locascio, 54, of 8 Jacobs Well Road, Epping, faces two counts of receiving stolen property stemming from his arrest in October. He is also charged with possession of a controlled drug after police said they found him with a small amount of marijuana when they searched his home.

Locascio appeared briefly in the 10th Circuit Court District Division in Brentwood Friday for an arraignment that was postponed to Dec. 16.

According to one of the complaints, the ex-call firefighter allegedly had various firefighting equipment valued at $1,734 in his possession after he was let go.

Police Lt. Michael Wallace would not identify the type of equipment, but said Locascio wasn't authorized to have it at his house.

A second charge accuses him of failing to return his firefighting jacket and trousers, which had a combined value of $1,400.

The equipment was retrieved during a search of his residence, Wallace said.

The case against Locascio began after he took a medical leave from the department and didn't return, according to Karen Falcone, chairman of the board of selectmen and the board's representative to the fire wards.

After failing to respond to calls to return the equipment, Falcone said the town sent a letter informing him that he was being terminated from his position.

Locascio was asked again to return the equipment when he was sent the termination letter, Falcone said.

Police eventually stepped in to retrieve the equipment and filed charges in October.

Fire Chief Don DeAngelis said firefighters are allowed to have protective equipment like a helmet, boots and turnout gear at their home. They also usually have a radio, he said.

DeAngelis, who became fire chief in March, said Locascio was terminated from the department before he was hired.

Locascio remains free on $1,000 personal recognizance bail.

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