The FBI is asking for the public’s help in finding a Humvee stolen Friday morning from the California Army National Guard.
The vehicle is attached to the A Company 40th Brigade Support Battalion, according to information released by authorities. It was stolen from a National Guard Armory in Bell.
Besides being painted in green camouflage, the vehicle had all sorts of official identification, including bumper No. 40BSBHQ6, registration No. NZ311R and a sticker under the right front headlight that reads 40TH BSB.
“We went to the press as quick as we could hoping someone would recognize it,” said Laura Eimiller, a spokesperson for the FBI’s office in Los Angeles.
As someone put it on Twitter: “Identifiers also include being a literal military vehicle driven by a guy who looks like he would steal a literal military vehicle.”
The Humvee’s notable characteristics extend beyond the color. The vehicle is “up-armored,” as the military puts things, making it more resistant to attack.
It’s considered a “combat vehicle,” Eimiller said.
The vehicle is worth $120,000 and there’s a potential $10,000 reward for its return. Stealing it carries a penalty of up to 10 years in prison.
Less than two weeks after far-right extremists attacked the U.S. Capitol, with rumors circulating of other possible attacks, the theft of such a vehicle is getting attention on social media.
“Prob being driven to the closest capital to be used to blend in. Kind of a bad time to let this happen,” a poster wrote. Others commented in a similar vein.
Eimiller said there’s no evidence indicating such a threat in connection to this theft “at this time, but we’re not ruling any of this out.”
It’s also not unheard of for opportunists to steal a military vehicle or otherwise exercise bad judgment.
In November, a Pomona man allegedly went to an Army Reserve Center in Upland, drove away with a military Humvee worth more than $200,000, and briefly led police on a chase through residential streets.
Law enforcement authorities are on high alert across the country.
On Friday evening the Capitol Police arrested a Virginia man who was found with guns and ammunition after attempting to enter an inauguration security checkpoint near the Capitol with a credential that was not authorized, according to court documents.
That case appears for now to have been a false alarm — with the man genuinely confused about where he was — and having no apparent intention to cause mischief.
But tensions remain high in the nation’s capital and in cities across the country.
Anyone who sees the missing combat Humvee can call the FBI at (310) 477-6565.
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