Cherokee County firefighter arrested, fired for alleged $20 theft

A Cherokee County firefighter was arrested and fired after admitting to stealing $20 from his firehouse, the Sheriff’s Office said Thursday.

Matthew Knowles, 30, of Woodstock, was charged with theft and released from jail after posting $720 bond Wednesday afternoon, Lt. Jay Baker said.

Knowles was the second Cherokee firefighter charged with a crime during the past week, and both were fired from the department. Last week, veteran firefighter Clay Gridley was arrested after he allegedly made a prank call to 911 to interrupt co-workers having dinner at a restaurant, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.

In the most recent case, deputies were asked to investigate after money was reported missing from the “house dues” at Fire Station 1 on Bells Ferry Road, Baker said. House dues are funds collected by firefighters to cover expenses, such as coffee, in the fire station.

During an interview, Knowles admitted he had gone into a locker where the house dues were stored and removed $20, Baker said. Knowles was a three-year veteran of the department.

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