June 14, 1997 in Nation/World

3 Guilty In $13 Million Theft From Military Base

Compiled From Wire Services

Three men were convicted Friday of stealing $13 million worth of missile launchers, Jeeps and other goods in the largest known theft of equipment from a U.S. military base.

Two men were acquitted.

Convicted of conspiracy and conversion of government property were Dennis Lambert, 53, the base’s former range maintenance officer; Loyd Pilgrim, 37, a military surplus dealer; and Grant Kruger, 43, president of the Military Vehicles and Arms Museum in Minnesota.

Military surplus dealers George Pretty and David Butler were acquitted.

The men were charged with helping another surplus dealer, Leo Anthony Piatz, swipe at least 153 vehicles, including armored personnel carriers with TOW missile launchers, from the Army’s Fort McCoy between 1994 and 1996.

No missiles or other weapons were stolen, and most of the equipment has been returned.

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