| Jul 31, 2019

This past Sunday (July 28) a hot, lazy, summer afternoon in Sharbot Lake was interrupted by police sirens from the Emergency Response Unit as cruisers poured into town. They were responding to a bizarre incident involving the red Central Frontenac Township owned ½ ton pickup that Fire Chief Greg Robinson uses.

Robinson had reported the truck stolen on Saturday Night (July 27) or early Sunday morning, Central Frontenac Mayor Frances Smith has confirmed.

First Response Media, a Kingston based website and social media platform that monitors emergency service communications, said on Sunday morning that the vehicle “was stolen in the area of the Isaiah Tubbs resort”. When contacted, the websites owner, Dominic Owens said that the information came from one of the site’s associates who monitors emergency communications in Hastings County.

The Isaiah Tubbs resort is located in Prince Edward County, in the vicinity of Sandbanks Beach and Sandbanks Provincial Park.

As part of his employment contract, Robinson uses his township truck for professional and personal use.

“As a fire chief, he needs to be on call at all times,” Central Frontenac Mayor Smith said on Tuesday morning. “He is responsible for tracking his personal use of the vehicle, for tax purposes.”

The truck is similar to other vehicles used by the township, with the exception that it does not have the township logo decaled onto it, which, according to First Response Media, made it hard for the OPP to locate it as it was being driven.

Before the OPP were able to locate the truck the road, it turned up, parked in a lot just across from the Central Frontenac township office, as if reporting for work a day early. It was apparently intact when it was parked.

After it was parked, a man attacked the truck, apparently with a hatchet or an axe, causing extensive damage.

The Emergency Response Unit (ERU) combed through Sharbot Lake, looking for the man and perhaps for the person who stole the truck in the first place, who was not the same person, according to reports on First Response Media.

Again, according to First Response, the man who attacked the parked vehicle was eventually apprehended east of Perth in Franktown, “under a paver”.

Mayor Smith confirmed that “a guy smashed in the car after it was parked at the township office, causing an OPP search of the village.  The OPP have arrested the man. I can’t say more because we have not seen the police report yet.”

Although the name of the man who was arrested has been shared with the News from a number of people in Sharbot Lake as well as a by the Dominic Owen of First Response Media, it has not been confirmed in police. Speculation about who stole the van in the first place has also centred on one individual, but we have no confirmation on that name either.

The News has reached out to Fire Chief Robinson for comment.  We have not heard back. As well attempts to contact Frontenac Detachment Community Officer Curtis Dick, who posts reports on arrests from Frontenac County on the OPP have not been successful as of yet. The silence by the OPP is unusual given the size of the police response and the fact that an arrest has been made, suggesting that their investigation is not yet complete.

For whatever reason, crucial details of the story and the name (s) of the perpetrators and their motivation for taking the action that they took remain unconfirmed.

This is not the first time that Fire Chief Robinson’s truck has made the news. Back on May 9, 2017, shortly after he was hired, the matter came up at a meeting of Central Frontenac Council. It was the subject of an item in the News as part of the report on that meeting. Here is that item, which was written by Craig Bakay

“Council approved a new half-ton truck at a cost not to exceed $40,000 for new Fire Chief Greg Robinson. The vehicle is not in the 2017 fire budget and will be financed through reserves. ‘It is normal accepted practice for municipalities to provide a vehicle to full-time fire chiefs so that they may respond quickly and safely to emergencies when required, both from home and while on duty,’ Robinson said. Mayor Francis Smith said they had discussed using one of two other pickups in the fleet for the chief but Robinson said both were already assigned to other duties at their respective fire halls.”

There will be more on this story on Frontenacnews.ca as details emerge

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