Deputies: Soldier could have been planning abduction, robbery
Soldier accused of stealing $150K in military equipment had 'disturbing' items
BAKER COUNTY, Fla. – A Florida Army National Guard soldier accused of stealing more than $150,000 in military equipment might have been planning an abduction or robbery, according to Baker County Sheriff's Office investigators.
Deputies said Alan Tanner Jr., 27, stole a revolver-rifle, a pistol, other weapons and thousands of dollars' worth of sensitive military equipment, including night vision goggles.
Tanner was also found with a camouflaged bag that was filled with masks, gloves, rope, tape, disguises and a knife, deputies said.
Investigators said because of the disturbing nature of the items, they believe he could have been planning an abduction or robbery.
"The other things that he had in his bag were things that -- could he have harmed (someone)?" Sheriff Joey Dobson said. "We have no idea really what his plans were but we were probably really very fortunate that we stopped this young man before he got any further down the road."
The thefts Tanner is accused of committing span three counties. He is charged with burglary and possession of burglary tools in Baker County, and there is warrant for his arrest out of Charlton County, Georgia, on grand theft and burglary charges, Dobson said. The sheriff said Tanner will also face charges in Clay County for the theft of military equipment from Camp Blanding.
He's also charged with violating a domestic violence injunction that his girlfriend had against him.
He's being held in the Baker County Detention Center with bond set at $305,000.
Some of the stolen military equipment is still missing. But Maj. Caitlin Brown said nothing that was taken from the armory should give the public alarm.
"None of the items are explosives or firearms or anything that would give us any reason to think that the public has any reason to worry," Brown said. "It's equipment that's not readily available to the public, but it's not dangerous."
Investigators zeroed in on Tanner in connection with the Baker County firearm thefts after Dobson's son-in-law said Tanner was on his property, which includes a barn, and the son-in-law later discovered two air rifles missing from the barn.
Tanner was contacted and went to the Baker County Sheriff's Office for an interview.
Deputies said he admitted to burglarizing the barn in Baker County and a home in Charlton County from which four firearms were taken.
When deputies searched the property where Tanner lived, they found the stolen items scattered through the woods.
Tanner Jr.'s girlfriend said when he learned deputies would be going to his home, he hid some of the items in the woods.
While at Tanner's home, deputies found handcuffs, rope, a mask, gloves and a fake law enforcement badge.
One of the bags had a label that said "Georgia Power Company."
Tanner had been on misdemeanor probation in Baker County for possession of marijuana before his arrest this week.
Brown said any action the National Guard takes against Tanner would come after he faces any criminal charges.
"Based on the findings of those investigations, we'll take whatever actions are appropriate at that time," Brown said. "Any time you have an organization made up of 12,000 individuals, there are unfortunately going to be one or two where those individuals don't live up to your standards. When that happens, we obviously take swift action to make sure those people are removed from our ranks."
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