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GRAFENWOEHR, Germany — Military police investigators here collaborated with Auerbach Polizei to catch a thief in our midst.

 

Sgt. Sebastian Rupp and Staff Sgt. Michael Thompson, along with Auerbach Polizei officer Andreas Mueller, investigated an employee of a moving company after a concerned citizen reported that an online auction site was selling what looked like military equipment and gear.

 

The police arrested the alleged thief, a Hungarian national, who has since been released on bail. The moving company promptly fired the individual and worked closely with investigators to solve this crime.

 

Thus far, Mueller reports €18,000 worth of gear found on eBay, but the true value may be much higher. The potential loss of items from this thief could stretch back to his first day on the job.

 

“It is our goal to identify all victims associated with this crime and have their personal property identified and returned as soon as possible,” said Rupp.

 

This case proves the importance of the partnership between our host nation police and military police. Training together and meeting regularly has fostered a shared commitment to protect and secure our communities

 

“The teamwork with the U.S. Military Police was excellent. One of the officers spoke fluent German, which made it even easier to work together,” said Mueller.

 

“Investigator Mueller of the Auerbach Polizei has been instrumental in the success of this joint investigation, and it’s great to know that when we need the assistance of our German colleagues, they will support us with whatever resources they have available,” said Thompson.

 

This bust highlights the success of reporting suspicious activities and remaining vigilant. One report can truly make a difference. You can make a suspicious activity report at http://www.eur.army.mil/iReport/.

 

The Directorate of Emergency Services is also creating a specific reporting mechanism for people who suspect that this mover might have stolen something from them. An update will be published as soon as this mechanism is in place.

 

The investigators agree that documenting your personal belongings is a great first step to protect yourself in the future. Proof of ownership is key to reporting missing items.  

  • Take pictures of each room in your house. Open cabinets, closets and drawers and take pictures. These pictures could help you remember how things are supposed to look.

 

  • Take pictures of higher value items such as jewelry, electronics, musical instruments and artwork.

 

  • Create a spreadsheet that tracks your items and include manufacturer, brief description of the item, inventory or serial number, cost when purchased and year purchased. Then take a picture of the front and back of the item. These bits of information make the claims process.

 

  • Keep receipts. The original receipt is one of the best ways to prove you own something and the value of the item.

 

  • Send pictures and item descriptions to your insurance company, especially for higher valued items.

 

“Our overall intent is to ensure that future crimes such as these can be prevented, and in the event they do occur, people will know how to go about reporting the incident to law enforcement,” said Rupp.


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