New details emerge on arrest of Phoenix firefighter accused of theft, arson

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Ryan Donahue (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office) Ryan Donahue (Source: Maricopa County Sheriff's Office)
Ryan Donahue at his initial court appearance (Source: 3TV/CBS 5) Ryan Donahue at his initial court appearance (Source: 3TV/CBS 5)

It's a big blow to the brotherhood of firefighters in Phoenix after the arrest of one of their own on Friday. 

A court document obtained by Arizona's Family said the crimes started Jan. 4.

[RELATED: Phoenix firefighter arrested for stealing from fire stations, setting fire]

It said the suspect Ryan Donahue, an 11-year veteran of the Phoenix Fire Department, would enter the firehouses when the firefighters were out on calls and steal cash.

According to the document, he also admitted to making two fake 911 calls and setting two trash cans on fire to lure the firefighters out. Once the firefighters left the station, Donahue would walk in.

[VIDEO: Donahue's initial court appearance]

The document outlines the firehouses hit and how much money was taken from each one.

  • STATION 21: Hit two different times. The first time $400 was taken and then $130 another time.
  • STATION 36: $23 was missing.
  • STATION 14: $13 was taken and according to the document, this was the first known case where a false 911 call was made.
  • STATION 42: $40 taken after Donahue admitted to placing another fake 911 call through a good Samaritan, according to the document.
  • STATION 72: $990 went missing from a firefighter's locker. This was the largest sum of money taken.
  • STATION 39: Firefighters responded to a trash fire Donahue later admitted to starting, and when they returned nearly $80 was stolen from a firefighter's wallet, according to the document.
  • STATION 24: The last fire station hit. $60 was taken but surveillance units were watching and later arrested Donahue.

In that document, Donahue said he's "in deep financial crisis and struggling with substance abuse."

Phoenix Fire Department says it has multiple resources to help any of their members that might be struggling in any type of way.

Donahue was released from Maricopa County Jail around 2 p.m. on Saturday "on his own recognizance," according to a jail official.

Donahue is also on unpaid leave pending further investigation, according to Phoenix Fire Department.

On Sunday, the Local Firefighter's Union issued this statement:

We are deeply saddened by the recent arrest of a Phoenix Firefighter and the negative example it places on our members who deeply value the trust the public puts in us. Under those blue shirts we are human. Albeit rare, we are sometimes and unfortunately susceptible to failure like anyone else.

 The United Phoenix Firefighters and Phoenix Fire Department have numerous, nationally recognized and highly effective resources and programs in place to keep our members healthy and productive. As good as they are, it is sadly impossible for these programs to function with absolute success.

 We aren’t angry or resentful, we are empathetic towards our brother whose personal life apparently degraded to a point where he was willing to risk so much. We are forgiving of his transgressions and pray for he and his family.

 Moving forward, we remain passionately committed to protecting our communities and serving it’s citizens with unwavering dedication. This too shall pass and will not define us.

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