Barracks Theft/Securing Personal Property
Story by: Legal Administrator Parry S. Preuc
Unfortunately, a Soldier living in barracks can be the victim of theft. Without taking proper precautions and planning, the Claims Office may not be able to help you.
You must keep your belongings secure. Lock your doors and windows. Keep all small valuable items inside your locked wall locker if you leave your room. Don't leave bank cards, money, jewelry, laptop computers or other valuables out in the open, even in a locked barracks room. Claims for a loss of money over $100.00 are not compensable as it is not considered reasonable to have more than this amount in your room. If a room is not properly secured and/or valuable items are not further secured within the room, any claimed filed may not be payable, as regulations require that Soldiers secure their property. Units do have safes or other security procedures for storage and securing extremely valuable small items.
Record your high dollar items on an inventory sheet. Fill it out completely, making note of all high dollar items, their make,model number, and serial number. Get your NCO/chain of command to sign and verify the items on this inventory. Update it after every high dollar item you purchase. Keep a copy in your room, and in your unit files as inventories sometimes disappear as well. Keep receipts whenever possible. Without an inventory, you will have to find some other way to prove ownership of an item for any claim you might file. Without adequate proof of ownership and value, your claim for a stolen item may not be payable or paid as you claim.
When deploying extra measures must be taken to secure your belongings. Update your inventory. Keep extra copies of your inventories with you and at a secure place just in case the unit copy is lost. (Mailing a copy to parents or family is a suggestion) Refer to the article on POV storage for vehicle concerns. If your items are picked up by a carrier for storage, ensure all your valuable items are noted on the inventory prepared by the carrier. Refer to the article on this website: Advice for PCS Moves and filing your Household Goods Claim.
The property of Soldiers who are missing, AWOL, or in temporary confinement falls into the care of the unit. The Soldier'sNCO should record an accurate inventory of the soldier's belongings, and secure his possessions as much as possible. (A banded, locked Wall Locker in a secure restricted access room is suggested.) Copies of this inventory should be kept in the Wall Locker, and in secured unit files in the event of the Soldiers return to duty.
If You Are a Victim of Barracks Theft
Call the Military Police immediately, and notify your chain of command. The MP's must investigate and issue a report for any claim to be payable. Contact the Claims office at 239-3830 as soon as possible to report your claim and receive further advice.