THE COLD-HEARTED theft on Friday of items intended to benefit the families of two fallen firefighters has left the city's blood boiling, and now police have released surveillance of the thief.
SmokeEaters Pub, a bar in Holmesburg that caters to firefighters and is also owned by one, was holding a benefit for the families of fallen firefighters Lt. Robert Neary and Daniel Sweeney when the theft occurred.
Neary and Sweeney lost their lives in a five-alarm fire in a vacant Kensington building one week ago Monday, and the benefit at SmokeEaters followed their viewings Friday night.
About 10:40 p.m., a man who went to the basement of the bar to use the bathroom saw gift baskets that were to be raffled off for money. He took a pocket knife, slashed the cellophane and starting cherry-picking the items he wanted, including numerous gift cards, and pocketed them, police said.