Fire Officials Charged with Theft from Fire Company

This is an archived article and the information in the article may be outdated. Please look at the time stamp on the story to see when it was last updated.

DELANO -- The fire captain of the volunteer Delano Fire Company is accused of taking money from the department.

Shane Kuropatsky is charged with theft by unlawful taking, receiving stolen property and other charges.

Kuropatsky told police he maxed out a fire company credit card for things like gas, lunch and cigarettes.

"I'm sorry for everything that I did and hopefully one day I can make it up to all of them," said Shane Kuropatsky.

His father, Paul Kuropatsky, is the fire chief.

He faces misdemeanor theft charges for helping his son.

The fire captain said he and his father used the credit card to pay for oil to heat their home in Delano two or three times.

Shane said he also used the card for gas money, saying he was unemployed and needed gas to look for jobs.

In total, he charged $2,500.

"I hit a tough time, we all hit tough times and I just wasn't thinking. Wasn't in the right mind for doing what I did, " said the son.

According to court paperwork, Shane Kuropatsky said no one here at the fire company knew he was using the gas card for his own personal vehicle. He says that's because, after he used it he would bring it back and put it away.

"I'm not going to lie, I feel lousy for what I did to my brothers and sisters. That's why I say hopefully I can help them out in the future and get everything taken care of so they can trust me again. " said the fire captain.

Shane Kuropatsky told police he and his father planned to pay back the money to the department.

Pamela Shaup lives across from the fire company and said the father and son are good people.

"I believe the Kuropatsky's are a real nice family. If they said they were going to pay it back, i believe they would pay it back."

It's unclear if the Kuropatsky's will remain with the Delano Fire Company.

"That's ultimately their call if they want me to come back, either way I'm going to respect their decision as a fire company and my former brothers and sisters. "

Newswatch 16 reached out to other trustee members of the Delano Fire Company to see if Paul and Shane Kuropatsky would have to step down from the fire company board, but our calls were not returned.

9 comments

  • dont know me

    Give it up ppl listen how immature you all really sound let the fire company sort things out without u db’s putting your two cents in

  • Your mama

    I feel like so many fire departments are doing this. I went to go give money too my fire department, they were actually harassing us for it… They filled our swimming pool and a day later they were calling and stopping at my house several times a day for the 600.00 we owed them. Coming to my house, writing hate notes, as stalking and getting harassment letters seemed a little odd to me. I was a little confused St what this money was for and who it was for because let seemed whoever needed it didn’t have a single time to their name. Also when I did drop it off 4 days later, the guy was so angry and pissed that we needed a receipt. The only reason why we needed a receipt was because the guy was so weird about getting the money. It just seemed like he needed it to pay a bill or something idk the whole thing was strange. He also over charged us specifically, everyone else I knew whose gotten there pools filled got their water for half the price we did and he was so mad that we wrote on check to him instead of giving him cash, we gave a check because of how he was acting and thought it’d be better to be on record with all the corrupt volunteer fire departments there seems to be lately. Feel free to give me any feed back on this. I do agree though, volunteer fire departments should get paid and shouldn’t only be volunteer, because they do work hard. But I don’t think it should be illegally or taken upon themselves to pay themselves. Please if you have any feedback to my concerns feel free to respond.

  • Melissa

    Even though they are volunteers, they have just as much responsibility and legal obligation to the town they serve..don’t get me wrong, I’m not for one second saying what he did was ok, because it was NOT ok, it was unacceptable and criminal.. But THIS is what is becoming of the volunteer departments.. Either they go out of business because members can’t afford to volunteer, or the guys running it can’t bring themselves to walk away in order to make (more) at a paying job, and they “borrow” from their “families”.. There is literally a national CRISIS going on in the volunteer emergency services fields..fire departments AND EMS (ambulance services)… That SHOULD be terrifying, because that could literally mean life or death for any one of us or our family members!! Unfortunately no one really thinks about it,until it’s too late..but almost every single volunteer department in our area, especially EMS, has dropped calls, meaning they can’t assemble a crew to respond, so the next closest company is dispatched, and hopefully they can get enough people together to respond, otherwise the patient might be waiting for a paramedic unit coming from a distance (for us rural towns at least, the cities are different).. Again, I’m not for one second sticking up for this guy or what he did..just bringing attention to the crisis currently going on around us

  • Bren

    It’s unfortunate that losers like this give the rest of the volunteers a bad name. Volunteer emergency responders risk life and limb to help others, then some self-serving nitwit comes along and tarnishes the whole squad or department’s reputation through his (or her) thieving ways. I can only imagine how disheartening this sort of thing is to those volunteers and first responders who are honest and truly want to help others.

  • Lumps and Chunks

    Another macho head case tough guy thief with a little blue light on top of the big pickup truck . I wonder how many fires he started over the years.

Comments are closed.

Notice: you are using an outdated browser. Microsoft does not recommend using IE as your default browser. Some features on this website, like video and images, might not work properly. For the best experience, please upgrade your browser.