Retired Milwaukee firefighter has fireman statue stolen

Posted at 6:59 PM, Sep 18, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-19 11:49:57-04

A retired Milwaukee firefighter is hoping a precious gift is returned. 

Allan Zehm worked as a firefighter for nearly 30 years. It became a big part of his identity. He loved to help people and takes pride in the fact he served the community he loves for so many years. 

"It was my whole life," Zehm said. "I went on when I was 24 until I was in my 50s. Now, I'm in my 70s. It's the same group of guys. Good citizens. All around, good people."

After Zehm retired 21 years ago, he continued to be a part of the fire department in a different fashion. He works with the Milwaukee Fire Historical Society. You won't go far in his home without seeing something paying homage to his past. There is an old fire department mailbox in the front of his home. In his backyard, he has an old fire department call box and a fire hydrant. However, he's missing an important decorative piece. 

"It's at least 100 pounds and three feet tall," Zehm said. 

The concrete, turn of the century fireman statue was a gift from his late-wife and two children back in 2009. He got it as a Father's Day gift. 

And it was one of his favorite Father's Day gifts he's ever received, though there was never really much competition.

"On Father's Day, usually you get a pair of socks, breakfast, maybe your wife will make your favorite roast or whatever. This was something a little special. It has sentimental value. It was given to me by my wife, who passed seven years ago, my son and daughter. As far as Father's Day gifts go, it was the top. I'm going to miss it now that it's gone."

As a retiree, Zehm enjoys the simple things in life. Most mornings, he'll take a trip to his back porch with a cup of coffee. One morning, something wasn't right. 

"Something wasn't right," Zehm said. "I looked around the yard and looked over here and, I'll be damned. My fireman statue is gone."

Zehm says he could move the statue himself. It's about 100 pounds and an awkward shape, but he could do it alone, just not easily. 

"If I moved it, I'd have to move it a couple feet and put it down. Move it a couple feet and put it down," Zehm said. "The wind didn't blow it over. It was heavy."

Plus, it's hard to see unless you're in the backyard. From the sidewalk, you can barely see the decorations. Now, he's just hoping it shows up unscathed. 

"Maybe it's someone who knows a fireman and they want to give it to them as a gift," Zehm said. "If it is, hey brother. I need it back."

Anyone with information on the stolen statue should call the Milwaukee Police Department.