DEXTER, Maine — When a specialty helmet and an extrication tool disappeared from the Fire Department a couple of months ago, firefighters initially thought someone was playing a practical joke.

Then a pair of gloves and a coat disappeared sometime later, followed by a pair of firefighting pants. By the end of the summer, someone had taken a firefighter’s complete turnout gear valued at $2,000 and firefighters realized they were dealing with a thief.

To help prevent further thefts, the Town Council on Thursday approved the expenditure of $834 from the Fire Department’s equipment reserve to purchase security cameras.

Firefighter Duke Leighton said Friday the department is always locked so the thefts puzzle members. There is a combination lock on the front of the fire station and the building has a couple of keyed entries in other locations.

Leighton hopes someone will see the items somewhere. “It’s not stuff that’s around everyone’s homes,” he said.

While the missing helmet might look like any firefighter helmet, it was a special order and had an emblem on the front that is unique, Leighton said.