- Associated Press - Saturday, November 1, 2014

LINCOLN, Neb. (AP) - State fire marshal’s gear worth $11,000 that was stolen last year has turned up in a tree grove east of Lincoln.

A 41-year-old Lincoln-area man found the equipment on his rural property Monday morning, the Lincoln Journal Star reported (http://bit.ly/1wSACMi ). A Lancaster County Sheriff’s report said that among the equipment found was a scuba tank, hoses, tubes and detectors used to pick up harmful gases.

State Fire Marshal Jim Heine went to the grove and confirmed the equipment was from his office.

“We’re glad to have it back,” he said.

The fire marshal’s hazardous response team uses the gear to protect themselves from certain hazardous situations, such as natural gas leaks or pesticides or radioactive material spills, Heine said.

Heine said he’s not sure if any of the equipment still works - especially the electronic equipment. The gear looked like it had been outside a long time and was extreme dirty and muddy, Heine said.

Heine said he’s consulting with the office’s insurance company on whether to have the equipment tested or declare it a loss.

Thieves stole the gear in September 2013 from the back of a Beatrice fire chief’s truck, Beatrice Police Department Capt. Jerry Lampkin said.

Police have no suspects, Lampkin said.

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Information from: Lincoln Journal Star, http://www.journalstar.com

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