Eastport (WALK) - It might sound obvious, but it's not a good idea to leave your keys inside your vehicle.
A local fire chief learned that lesson the hard way yesterday when his department SUV was stolen from right in front of the Center Moriches firehouse. The chief reportedly says that he left the red Chevrolet Tahoe for only a few minutes before returning and finding it gone.
The Tahoe was missing for several hours until someone reported spotting it on Route 25A in Rocky Point around 7:30 AM Sunday. Police followed the SUV to Eastport where it skidded off Montauk Highway and wound up stuck in a snow bank outside Tuttle's Mower Shop.
Police say that two men inside the SUV were arrested. Their names have not yet been released.
The SUV actually belongs to the East Moriches Fire Department. The East Moriches chief reportedly went to the Center Moriches firehouse to check on his crew, which was providing coverage that night for Center Moriches volunteers.
Fire officials say that keys are often left inside department vehicles so that personnel can respond quickly to emergencies.