Two Food 4 Less grocery store clerks, Anthony Robles and Parker Ghera, were honored by the men of the Manteca Fire Department and especially Captain Kevin Terpstra whose $750 helmet was stolen from a fire truck sometime last Friday night by a homeless woman.
Terpstra was saddened with the loss as the helmet as it had been given to him as a gift by his mother on his graduation from the Stanislaus Fire Academy some 26 years ago.
Robles and Ghera spotted the helmet Sunday afternoon in a grocery cart about 4 p.m. that a customer was pushing around the store. Police were called and retrieved the helmet and arrested the woman for possession of stolen property. She was booked into county jail on a felony charge. The woman had returned to the store with staff knowing of the theft the day before.
Captain Terpstra had offered a $200 reward for the safe return of his helmet and split that amount, giving each of the store employees $100. They also received a plaque from the department, a certificate from the City Council and a gift bag from the Chief’s Foundation.
The woman had allegedly entered the cab of the fire truck and took the helmet for herself.
Friday afternoon Captain Terpstra hosted his son Cameron on a ride along in the uniform of a firefighter from the Modesto Woodland Avenue Fire Station. Cameron will someday inherit that helmet after his dad retires, the senior Terpstra said.
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