Fake Fire Inspector Arrested for Robbing Cultural Institutions: Cops

By Danielle Johnson
|  Monday, Jan 14, 2013  |  Updated 1:20 PM EDT
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"Fire Inspector" Arrested for Robbing Cultural Institutions: Cops

Philadelphia Police

Christopher Kieter is charged with three counts of, Criminal Trespass, Theft-Unlawful Taking, and Impersonating.

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Police say a man was arrested and charged for posing as a Philadelphia firefighter and stealing thousands of dollars worth of electronics from Philadelphia landmarks.

Investigators say on January 3 at 11 p.m. Christopher Kieter, 26, entered the Academy of Music located at 240 South Broad Street wearing a Philadelphia Fire department shirt and carrying a handled radio. Police say he asked a security guard if he could inspect the fire extinguishers in the building. At some point during this inspection Kieter was able to sneak into the theater and steal a computer, a pair of head phones, and a radio that had “Les Mis” written on the front of it, according to police.

Christopher Kieter, Credit: Philadelphia Police

In another alleged incident the next evening at 7:20 p.m., police say Kieter entered the Independence Visitor Center at 1 North Independence Mall West and told members of the housekeeping department he was there to inspect the fire extinguishers. Kieter allegedly stole a handheld radio valued at $2,500. A wireless microphone, valued at $639, was also missing.

On January 8 at 1:30 p. m., Kieter allegedly entered the Art Institute of Philadelphia located at 1622 Chestnut Street. Police say he acted like he was inspecting fire extinguishers pulling at least 20 tags off some extinguishers and stating to the building manager that he needed them replaced or he would receive a fine. Kieter then went to an equipment cage on the 6th floor and told everyone had to leave because he was going to spray some fumes in the air, according to investigators. Kieter allegedly stole two laptops.

On January 10, police arrested Kieter at his home on the 200 block South 13th Street where they say they recovered the stolen items.

Kieter has been charged with three counts of, Criminal Trespass, Theft-Unlawful Taking, and Impersonating.

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