Mass. Firefighter Hopes Wallet Thief Gets Help

Aug. 05--A big-hearted Revere firefighter who left his wallet to dry on a firehouse window ledge after battling a blaze said yesterday he pities the career criminal accused of stealing it -- but he's more concerned about the two tykes she had in tow.

"I feel sorry for her and for the kids she was with, too," Jamie Nadworny told the Herald. "I'm glad they have her if she has a rap sheet. Hopefully she'll get whatever help she needs. And I feel really bad for the kids. I hope they don't follow in her footsteps."

Nadworny's wallet was stolen at about 6:30 p.m. on July 7 while he was out answering a fire alarm. The billfold got soaked earlier while he was at a two-alarm blaze at the Shipwreck Lounge. So before he went out on the alarm, he left the wallet on a window ledge inside the station, by the front office.

When Nadworny returned and it was gone, he assumed he had just misplaced it, until the next day, when he went online and saw someone had used his Visa to spend $43.86 at Walgreens, $182.49 at Target and $69.99 at Famous Footwear.

"I was shocked," he said. "I just never thought someone would actually do something like that. When I saw the charges, I was like, you gotta be kidding me."

Yesterday, Aleesha McEachern, 32, of Chelsea pleaded not guilty to larceny, identity fraud and credit card fraud and was held on $5,000 bail.

When police checked the fire station's surveillance video, they saw a woman with two kids, about 3 and 10, enter a side door and take something from the window ledge before heading for the Walgreens next door.

Target's video surveillance showed a woman wearing a black baseball cap and a "Little Miss Bad" shirt leaving the store with a shopping bag, headed for Famous Footwear.

Police said "multiple" tips pointed to McEachern, a convicted felon with 39 entries on her rap sheet for assault and battery on a police officer, assault and battery with a dangerous weapon, receiving stolen property and multiple counts of larceny, prosecutors said. The day the wallet was stolen, she was minding two of the children of a woman she was staying with in Revere, court papers said. Efforts to reach the mom yesterday were unsuccessful.

By the time police got to her about the wallet, she was already behind bars, this time over an armed robbery in Dorchester in which the victim was pistol whipped, prosecutor Ursula Knight said.

Nadworny's wallet was found July 19 in a trash barrel in Everett by a public works employee who brought it to the station the same day. Everything was still inside, he said, even the credit card -- except for $85 in cash and a photo of his 16-month-old daughter.

"It was an unfortunate incident," Nadworny said. "I'm not going to let it ruin my faith in humanity."

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