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Police warn of alleged thief impersonating firefighter

Watch above: A man pretending to be a Toronto firefighter is stealing from businesses. Cindy Pom reports. 

TORONTO – A man is entering Toronto-area businesses with claims of being a member of the Toronto Fire Services checking on fire extinguishers, smoke detectors and sprinkler systems, police warned Monday.

After he gains entry, police suggest, he tries to steal property.

“He’s preying upon that part of us that trusts,” Constable David Hopkinson said.

The incidents have been primarily in the King Street West and Bathurst Street area and around Bloor Street West and Spadina Avenue.

Soheyla Aziznia told Global News Monday that a man purporting to be a member of the Toronto Fire Services showed up at her barbershop a few months ago claiming to be there offering to replace her fire extinguisher.

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“I just trusted him,” she said. “I [thought] okay, he’s doing something good for the city.”

The Toronto fire department does not go door-to-door replacing fire extinguishers. And the fire extinguisher he left, doesn’t work.

But fortunately for Aziznia, nothing was taken from her.

Police describe the man as between the ages of 35 and 45, between five foot five inches and five foot eight inches with brown hair, a goatee and wearing a red baseball hat, black and blue jacket and Nike shoes.

He sometimes carries a laptop bag.

Police are suggesting people take a number of steps before letting someone into their home or business, including checking for identification, taking a photo of them as proof and calling their supposed place of employment.

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