North Carolina: 9/11 Firefighter's Gear Stolen, Returned

WILMINGTON -- We have an update on a former New York firefighter who had some special gear stolen over the weekend.

Wilmington resident Jon Wright has his fire equipment back Wednesday. It's gear he used on September 11 when his New York fire department responded to the terrorist attack on the World Trade Center

Someone took that gear from Jon's van Sunday night, along with thousands of dollars worth of tools.

Previously:

WILMINGTON -- Jon Wright responded to the World Trade Center on September 11 and spent several weeks at Ground Zero site after the terrorist attacks. Jon lives in Wilmington now, and Sunday night a thief took one of his most prized possessions: his turn-out gear.

Step into Jon Wright's office and you'll see the life he lived for more than 30 years as a volunteer firefighter and medic in Freeport, New York. On the morning of September 11, Jon watched as terrorists attacked the World Trade Center. He immediately responded to the call and was on scene as the second tower came down.

"Right smack in the middle. I was neck deep in it, you couldn't get any closer to it than I was," Wright said.

Jon worked on the site for the next three weeks.

"The fire gear that I wore is in that picture right there. I'm the guy in the middle," Wright said.

That's the gear that a thief stole Sunday night from inside Jon's unlocked workvan in a store parking lot. The crook also took about $3,000 worth of tools. While the tools can be replaced, the gear cannot.

"That gear has my blood and my sweat in it and its got the blood and sweat of my brothers that were there," Wright said. "And unfortunately it's got a lot of the remains entrenched in the coat and the gear itself of the people that we found."

Jon thinks the person who stole the gear doesn't know how much it means to it's owner. Jon's afraid he may find it for sale on eBay or in a pawn shop.

"I would want them to just give the gear back and give it back. If they give it back that will be the end of it. If they don't give it back and you're caught with it I'll follow them to the ends of the earth. I want my gear back," Wright said.

The gear was stolen from Wright's van in the parking lot of Lowes Home Improvement off of New Centre Drive. If you know anything or saw anything Sunday night, give the Wilmington Police a call at 343.3600.

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