Theft of military equipment on the rise at Fort Bragg, assistant chief says

Soldiers disassemble foreign AK-47 rifles, Jan. 22, 2015, during a class at Fort Bragg, N.C. (Sgt. Mary S. Katzenberger, U.S. Army/Released)

Fort Bragg public safety officials are spreading a message for soldiers — don’t store military equipment in personal vehicles.

Theft of “TA-50″— Army-issued individual equipment — was up in the first quarter of 2021, Assistant Chief Jeffery Gassaway, station commander for Fort Bragg’s law enforcement center, said during a March 17 virtual Fort Bragg town hall meeting.

“I need all the help of all the soldiers out there,” Gassaway said. “I need the help of all the commanders and first sergeants, so we can get a wrap on this larceny of government property, because we have thousands and thousands of dollars of property being taken off this installation and being sold to other places.”

According to Fort Bragg’s crime statistics for fiscal year 2020, there were 177 reports of larceny of government property.

“We are now starting to receive off-post reports,” Gassaway said, noting local law enforcement agencies are also receiving report of military equipment being stolen.

Gassaway cited Army Regulations and local Fort Bragg Regulations, which state that military equipment can not be stored in vehicles on and off post, he said.

Gassaway is asking military leaders to spread the message that soldiers who store equipment in vehicles are subject to prosecution for failing to obey a lawful order under Article 92 of the Uniform Code of Military Justice.

“If you report larceny of government property, and we find out through the investigation that, that property was stored in your vehicle, you are also subject to Article 92 violation,” Gassaway said.


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