Stolen VFD handheld radio recovered; suspects identified by investigators

Suspects reportedly used radio to prank first responders, interfere with emergency call
Published: Feb. 25, 2023 at 1:58 PM CST|Updated: Feb. 27, 2023 at 7:42 AM CST
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VALLEY MILLS, Texas (KWTX) - UPDATE: The Bosque County Sheriff’s Office on Monday announced investigators recovered a stolen handheld radio belonging to the Valley Mills Volunteer Fire Department.

Bosque County Sheriff Trace Hendricks also said “the suspects in the case have been identified,” but provided no further information.

ORIGINAL ARTICLE: The Bosque County Sheriff’s Office and Valley Mills Police Department over the weekend were investigating the theft of the handheld radio that was then allegedly used to prank first responders and interfere during an actual emergency.

At around 12:30 a.m. on Feb. 25, several individuals began transmitting on Bosque County radio frequencies.

“The voices sounded to be young males. These individuals continued to use profanity and to communicate with officers and dispatch for a period of two hours,” said Sheriff Hendricks.

Dispatch operators and police officers warned the individuals the channels they were using were emergency channels and demanded they cease their communications.

“They persisted,” Hendricks said, adding that, during this time, first responders were dealing with an actual emergency involving a fire.

“The ongoing misconduct directly, and adversely, affected the emergency communication of first responders,” the sheriff further said.

Later Saturday morning, investigators learned a handheld radio belonging to the Valley Mills Volunteer Fire Department was stolen from a firefighter’s vehicle.

“This case will be investigated fully and criminal charges will be filed,” Hendricks further said, “We cannot allow such activities to interfere with emergency services and cause delay in response to calls for service which ultimately could be the difference in life or death.”