Larceny of government property is a federal offense.
Many cases of stolen government property stem from equipment not being secured or attended. Uncontrolled access to unit Company Operations Facility and motor pool areas have the highest percent of incidents.
It was reported in 2017, the Central Issuing Facility had over $5 million estimated cost of larceny. Approximately 90 thefts involved TA-50 that were unsecured or unattended. The other 10% involved forced entry, such as a Soldiers lockers bent, pried open or cut.
Another issue with a high amount of concern is soldiers storing equipment in their vehicles. According to Shawn Strepay public affairs of Fayetteville police. There are a high number of military personnel who neglect to lock their vehicles doors, which results thieves having easy access to equipment.
“A lot of soldiers do live in apartment complexes, especially close to base itself,” said Strepay. “Criminals a lot of times will just walk through the parking lot of the complexes pulling door handles just to see if the vehicle was left unlocked. If they are able to get in the vehicle they are going to grab anything with value and try to sell it.”
Steps can be taken to decreasing these cases while ensuring equipment is secured. If TA-50 is being transported in a vehicle, it always needs to be concealed and covered up.
At unit COF’s and motor pool areas make sure equipment is secured in a locked area and double check the locks before walking away. If not in a locker, make sure the equipment is always attended.
Write down serial numbers to each item of equipment that is assigned. This protects the Soldier and helps authorities catch the suspect if they try to sell the item.
“It’s the Soldiers’ responsibilities to secure their government issued property,” said Lt. Bernard McPhatter of Military Police. “That’s why it’s individually issued. It’s the soldiers’ responsibility to secure it and make sure it’s secure. Leaving it in a parking lot, the bus or in a training area with no guard is not secure, or leaving unattended period.”
Within the last year three Soldiers have been identified, charged or considered a person of interest with a large portion of larcenies on Fort Bragg.
All suspects had clear access to unit areas or had financial difficulties with regard to drug addictions.
If they are found guilty, they will face UCMJ action and possibly additional civil actions.
If you are a victim of government property larceny notify your chain of command and then make a police report. Call the Fort Bragg Provost Marshal Office at 396-0391 for more information.