Sensitive gear stolen from Joint Base Lewis-McChord is said to be worth $600,000, according to a statement by the Army Criminal Investigation Command.
The theft occurred sometime between Dec. 14 and Jan. 3, and involved 150 items going missing, including night vision goggles and rifle scopes.
The army is offering a $10,000 reward for any information leading to the apprehension and conviction of the thief responsible.
Maj. Chris Ophardt, a base spokesman has said, “You can buy a lot of this type of stuff on the open market, but it's not military-grade. This would be the latest and greatest that you can buy.”
Soldiers from the 4th Brigade, 2nd Infantry Division have been confined to the base as of Jan. 4, and have been strictly told they must not leave their barracks without an escort or express permission from a leader. It is unclear how long the restrictions will be in place for.
The episode is an embarrassment for the military, who is more used to small individual items at time going missing rather than 150 items worth more than half a million dollars.
A source has reported that a storage room, which had locks but no alarm, was broken into and the equipment being stored disappeared. What is embarrassing for the military is that security checks were supposed to take place ever day, however, it appears as though checks were not conducted for a number of weeks, meaning they have no idea exactly when the good were taken.
In 2005, 400 soldiers were also put on lockdown when a pair of night-vision goggles went missing.