Florida Firefighters Upset By Explorer Arrests

Coral Springs firefighters are still reeling over the news that four of the department's teen Explorers were arrested and charged with breaking into as many as 70 cars in Parkland and Coral Springs.

The Broward Sheriff's Office arrested five teens, ages 15 to 17, last week for the burglaries at which time detectives recovered stolen items, including Broward County Fire Rescue gear -- boots, jacket and gloves.

''They're all good kids and have performed hours of community service,'' said Mike Moser, Coral Springs Fire department spokesman. ``Even if they did do some of these things off duty, it shouldn't take away from some of the really good stuff they've done. This is just a real shame.''

The four teens arrested had been Explorers anywhere from six months to two years, Moser said.

Less than three months ago, four of the Explorers had been honored by the Coral Springs City Commission after their team placed second in the annual Explorer challenge.

''I'm involved in the Explorer program and was an Explorer when I was a kid,'' Moser said, ``but just like in any other profession there are some that choose the wrong path.''

The teens have been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation, Moser said.

''I just hope that everyone involved is fair with the investigation,'' Moser said. ``They're good kids who got mixed up with a bad crowd.''