- Two thieves in masks strike while fire crew tends to rescue near Pentagon
- Suspects make off with a number of items, including keys to secure areas of Metro
- Episode raises concern in post 9/11 Washington, but officials believe theft is isolated
- Video captured incident that occurred in past week; no suspects identified
Under cover of darkness, two people wearing dark clothing and ski masks enter a fire truck while its crew is busy with a rescue.
They grab keys to secure areas of Washington's subway system and flee. And it all happens just blocks from the Pentagon.
In a jittery post-9/11 world, it's small wonder the incident has raised concerns.
But Washington Metro officials and authorities in Arlington County, Virginia, attempted to tamp down fears the September 19 theft is terror related.
They said the suspects stole numerous items from the truck, and likely did not target the keys.
Moreover, the officials said they quickly took unspecified steps to secure the region's transit system.
The incident occurred just across an interstate from the Pentagon between 4 a.m. and 4:30 a.m., while the crew tended to a patient.
An on-board video-camera captured images of the thieves as they either approached or departed the truck, Arlington Police Department spokesman Dustin Sternbeck said.
Both Sternbeck and Metro spokesman Dan Stessel said numerous items were lifted, including the Metro keys. Both declined to say how many keys were taken, or what the keys opened.
The fire crew reported the theft promptly, Sternbeck said, and canine dogs were sent to the scene.
Sternbeck said police have not released the video of the suspects, but might if detectives feel it would help the investigation.