Stolen fire department vehicle recovered after Prince George's County neighbor spots it on street

A fire department vehicle that was stolen from the Ritchie Volunteer Fire Department in Capitol Heights has been found.

The vehicle vanished Thursday morning and was found on a neighborhood street about five miles away later in the afternoon.

A Capitol Heights resident recognized the stolen vehicle, which was a 2011 Chevy Silverado with Ritchie Volunteer Fire Department markings, after seeing it in a social media post from Prince George’s County Fire and EMS.

The discovery came more than nine hours after Prince George’s County Fire and EMS says it was removed from the fire department this morning around 6 a.m.

On-duty crews at station 37 noticed the utility truck was gone and began making phone calls and notifications to see if anyone had the vehicle and didn’t sign it out. After receiving no response, they posted about the missing utility truck on social media and called police.

There’s no information on who may be responsible for the theft but investigators say it's still early on, and they are digging to see if there is any video evidence that could provide a lead. 

"That is part of the investigation, along with the police department, is to do an investigation to see if we do have any surveillance cameras, any traffic cameras in the area," said Alan Doubleday, deputy fire chief with Prince George’s County Fire and EMS. 

He says right now, they're just glad that the power of social media could be used for good today.

"We're thankful that our social media post reached about 30,000 people in about a 30-minute to an hour period," he said. 

Prince George’s County police are leading the investigation. They have not yet released any updates.