Paramedic suspended after charges he broke into patients’ homes, stole jewelry
A sheriff’s office paramedic was suspended after he was accused of burglarizing patients’ homes while they were at the hospital, according to Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple.
Devvan Farina, 39, worked as a part-time paramedic with the sheriff’s office and as a Troy firefighter. He was arrested Tuesday on attempted burglary, burglary, grand larceny and other charges for alleged incidents in the town of Bethlehem.
Wednesday evening, Troy Mayor Carmella Mantello said Farina had been suspended from his job with the fire department.
“Earlier today, Troy Fire Department Chief Rich Cellucci and Firefighter Union President Eric Wisher informed Mr. Farina that he would be suspended 30 days without pay starting immediately,” said Mayor Mantello. “Further disciplinary or legal action will be determined pending further investigation.”
Records showed he remained in the Albany County Jail on Wednesday. No one answered the door Wednesday at a residence listed for Farina on court papers.
Documents alleged Farina tried doors and climbed in a window of a home of residents he knew were taken to the hospital. In one case, documents claimed Farina stole more than $1,600 worth of jewelry from a home.
The crimes allegedly took place from Jan. 3 to Jan. 31. Bethlehem Police are looking at the possibility that Farina could be a suspect in older burglary cases, they said.
Albany County Sheriff Craig Apple said Farina was suspended per protocol and that the agency was seeking to have Farina terminated.
“This is as bad as it gets, when you have somebody that’s entrusted to go into your house to help you, to save you, to transport you to a hospital, and at the same time is basically casing your house to go back and burglarize it later,” he said. “It’s horrible. But I’m asking the public, please do not judge the rest of my EMS unit based on this one guy.”
Apple said he was disappointed on behalf of the more than 100 other hardworking EMS employees.
“But it’s all it takes, right? All it takes is that one guy, that one idiot, to tarnish the reputation of them all,” he said.
A preliminary hearing is set for Friday at noon in the town of Bethlehem.