Former Clearwater fire official sentenced to probation for petty theft

Published Aug. 16, 2016

A former Clearwater assistant fire chief charged with stealing a 5-hour Energy drink from a 7-Eleven while on duty pleaded no contest to petit theft this month, court records show.

On Feb. 22, Fire & Rescue Assistant Chief Ron Gemsheim, 52, entered the store and filled two complimentary fountain drinks the business gives to first responders before pocketing the energy drink without paying, police said.

The manager confronted Gemsheim outside, and he put the $3.29 bottle back on the shelf before driving away.

Gemsheim, who was with the fire department for 10 years, was not arrested but charged with one count of misdemeanor theft and given a notice to appear in court. He resigned from Clearwater Fire a week later.

On Aug. 1, Gemsheim pleaded no contest to the charge and was sentenced to complete six months of probation and 100 hours of community service. He must also pay $450 in fines and court costs.