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Man Arrested After Impersonating Philadelphia Fire Department Employee, Stealing Electronics

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – A 26-year-old man has been arrested after posing as a Philadelphia Fire Department employee on multiple occasions.

According to police, Christopher Kieter, of Philadelphia, posed as an employee of the Philadelphia Fire Department at three locations in Philadelphia, telling building staff that he needed to inspect their fire extinguishers.

The first incident happened around 11 p.m. on January 3rd at the Academy of Music in Center City. Police say Kieter entered the building wearing a Philadelphia Fire Department shirt and a handheld radio, gave security his real name and told security he needed to inspect the fire extinguishers, and then snuck into the theater and stole a Toshiba computer, Sony headphones and a radio.

On January 4th, around 7:20 p.m., police say Kieter entered another building with a Philadelphia Fire Department sweatshirt and told housekeeping he had to inspect the fire extinguishers. Police say Kieter can be seen in surveillance video reaching behind a concierge desk and taking a Motorola handheld radio worth $2,500, and near a meeting room on the second floor where a Shure SLX24 microphone was missing.

Police say Kieter entered the Art Institute of Philadelphia on January 8th around 1:30 p.m., signed his real name into their visitors log book and told staff he had to inspect the buildings fire extinguishers. Authorities report while Kieter was in this building, he told staff that the building had to be evacuated because he was going to spray fumes. Officials say that when everyone returned into the building, they found that two laptops had been stolen from an equipment cage.

Police executed a search warrant at the suspect’s residence on January 10th. Kieter was arrested and charged with three counts of criminal trespass, impersonating and related offenses.

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