A Roseville family lost quite a bit when fire swept through their home and forced them to move out, but one item certainly wasn't destroyed -- it was taken.
An iPod Touch with a Julius the Monkey cover was left on the kitchen table when the flames broke out, but it disappeared during the fire and police believe monkey business was involved.
Two days after the fire, the family used a tracking device on the iPod to see if they could find it. Much to their surprise, it popped up in the parking lot of the Maplewood Fire Department, which had helped Roseville firefighters with the call.
Investigators found the iPod in a car belonging to 31-year-old Nick Hendrickson, a Maplewood firefighter and paramedic.
Hendrickson told detectives he saw the iPod in the kitchen when he was taking down insulation and put it inside his jacket pocket because he "figured he would just take care of it."
"I thought I was doing something good," Hendrickson told detectives. "Standard practice."
Except it isn't standard practice because Hendrickson never turned the iPod in to his chief, the Roseville Fire Department, or the family. Firefighters often retrieve items from homes when asked, but they are expected to return them to their owners. Hendrickson just kept the iPod in his car.
Hendrickson said he simply forgot about the iPod, but he admitted he made a "bad judgment call."
Before the City of Maplewood could complete an internal investigation, Hendrickson suddenly quit -- and because he did, the city can't say anything about his departure under state law.
The Roseville family did not want to speak on camera, but they told FOX 9 News they are grateful for the efforts of the firefighters are thankful no one was hurt. They added that they don't believe the actions of one should blemish the heroism of others.
Prosecutors charged Hendrickson with misdemeanor theft, but since it's not a felony, there is nothing to stop him from becoming a firefighter or paramedic somewhere else if he is convicted.
WHBQ-TV | Fox 13
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