DARLINGTON COUNTY, S.C. (WBTW) — An ex-Captain with the Darlington County Fire Department is accused of stealing money and diesel fuel from the department, according to the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office.

Justin Robert Polson was arrested and charged with breach of trust with fraudulent intent greater than $10,000 and petty larceny less than $2,000.

Between July 23, 2018 and April 2019, Polson is accused of using money belonging to the fire department to to “purchase items that was not agreed on by the department,” according to arrest warrants.

In June, Polson is accused of taking diesel fuel from the department, according to the warrants. Polson was fired in June after the incident, according to Darlington County Fire Chief Ricky Flowers.

“It’s disappointing and that’s the best way to put it,” Flowers said. “It’s disappointing and we hire people as volunteers based on their willingness to serve the community. The people of that station are a part of the community, so it’s disturbing.”

Flowers told News13 it feels like a kick in the gut. Flowers said Polson never caused any trouble with the department before.

“I don’t know what was going on that made him make these decisions but our job is to make sure the community is safe and that’s what we’re going to do,” Flowers said. “In no way did his actions, or else else’s actions here, change how that happens.”

The Byrdtown Firefighters Association released the following statement to News13:

“After a transition in leadership within the Association a sum of money that has been raised from volunteers throughout the past was unaccounted for. The Association made the decision to request the Darlington County Sheriff’s Office to investigate the situation. Shortly after a former member of the Association was arrested.”

“We definitely didn’t try to make excuses or sweep it under the rug so to speak, or make it like it didn’t happen,” Flowers said. “We knew it was a problem. Unfortunately it was one of our people, so we took immediate action.”

Deputies said no other documents or information could be released at this time due to an ongoing investigation.

News13 stopped by Polson’s home in Chesterfield County, which was confirmed by the County Register of Deeds. After two minutes of knocking with only dogs barking, a woman pulled into the driveway.

When asked if Polson lived there, the woman told us to leave the property.

Polson was a volunteer with the department for more than five years.

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