Suburban Chicago fire dispatcher accused of theft

A dispatcher with a suburban Chicago fire department is accused of pawning stolen fire equipment and keeping the cash.

Cook County Sheriff Tom Dart says Ford Heights Fire Department dispatcher Varndell Hurrings is charged with felony theft.

Dart says Hurrings bought a hydraulic unit used to power the department's "Jaws of Life" tool from someone who has since died.

Dart says Hurrings knew the unit, which is valued at $4,100, was stolen. Hurrings bought it for $40. He then pawned it for $80.

The 52-year-old from Sauk Village appeared in court and was released on his own recognizance. He could not be reached for comment Saturday.

The Jaws of Life is used by rescuers to pry open vehicles that have been involved in a crash and free people trapped inside.

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