Former Bridgeport firefighter to face theft charges

 May 19--This story previously did not include the Bridgeport man's first name. The error has been corrected in this version.

WATERVILLE -- Authorities have apprehended a man charged with repeatedly sneaking into Bridgeport's fire and ambulance building in 2006 and 2007 and swiping the city's gas card, racking up a $1,431 bill.

Cergio Santiago Britt was booked into the Chelan County Regional Justice Center May 3 on an unrelated matter.

The former Bridgeport volunteer firefighter failed to appear on burglary and theft charges in 2007.

Court documents do not indicate why Britt, 23, was booked into the jail, and Douglas County Deputy Prosecutor Justin Cafferty said he did not know why Britt, who now lives in Cowiche, near Yakima, was booked.

A probable cause affidavit, filed with Douglas County Superior Court and prepared by Cafferty, said Britt used the gas card at least 33 times to gas up his and several friends' vehicles. He would take the card late at night and return it before city employees returned in the morning, Cafferty wrote.

A city worker reported the unauthorized transactions to the Douglas County Sheriff's Office, which then installed a video camera inside the building, he wrote.

Cafferty wrote that two deputies were able to identify Britt from the footage because they knew him "well from prior contacts," but didn't say what type of prior contact.

The Douglas County Prosecutor's Office on April 6, 2007, filed three counts of second-degree burglary and four counts of second-degree theft against Britt.

Cafferty said Monday that when Britt failed to show up for his arraignment, a bench warrant was issued for his arrest.

Britt, who posted bail May 4, pleaded not guilty Monday. A trial has been set for July 22.

Michele Mihalovich: 665-1188