Retired Bayonne BC Accused of Selling Stolen Fire Memorabilia on eBay

A retired battalion chief from Bayonne, New Jersey was arrested last week on charges that he stole memorabilia from a fire museum and then sold it on eBay. Paul Avery, 64, served 36 years with the Bayonne Fire Department, retiring as a battalion chief in 2017.

Avery was reportedly involved with the John T. Brennan Fire Museum in Bayonne. The museum is located in former firehouse that was decommissioned in 1928, and is still owned by the city. The museum includes numerous artifacts from the local Exempt Firemen’s Association chapter.

According to NewJersey.com, Avery is suspected of stealing items from the museum going back to 2016. The exact value of the items is not known but is believed to be in the thousands of dollars. Among the items recovered by police were three helmets and a trumpet. The items were taken from the museum’s storage area, not from any of the displays.

 

About Curt Varone

Curt Varone has over 40 years of fire service experience and 30 as a practicing attorney licensed in both Rhode Island and Maine. His background includes 29 years as a career firefighter in Providence (retiring as a Deputy Assistant Chief), as well as volunteer and paid on call experience. He is the author of two books: Legal Considerations for Fire and Emergency Services, (2006, 2nd ed. 2011, 3rd ed. 2014) and Fire Officer's Legal Handbook (2007), and is a contributing editor for Firehouse Magazine writing the Fire Law column.
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