Soldier in South Korea gets 30 months for series of thefts
May 2, 2007
SEOUL — A soldier who stole body armor and sold it to buy an an engagement ring for a bargirl was sentenced to 30 months in prison at a Camp Casey courtroom Saturday.
Pfc. Michael Glassman Jr., of the 2nd Infantry Division’s 1st Battalion, 38th Field Artillery, headquarters battery, also received a bad-conduct discharge and reduction in rank to E-1.
Glassman pleaded guilty to seven counts of theft, eight counts of wrongfully disposing of military property, two counts of breaking and entering and one count of disobeying a direct order.
A false-statement charge was dropped despite Glassman’s failure to initially report some of his thefts, said prosecutor Capt. Charles Halverson, who handled the case with Capt. Melissa Dasgupta.
“Originally we thought he gave a false official statement, but it turned out that he had taken so much that he forgot,” Halverson said Monday.
Glassman stole three sets of body armor vests with metal plates along with four helmets, three load-bearing vests, three gas masks, four sleeping bags, a canteen and a parka, prosecutors said. He also nabbed two Xboxes, a PlayStation 2, two computers and a digital camera from fellow soldiers, according to court documents.
Eight times between July and November, Glassman sold the items at Homeboy EZ Pawn in Dongducheon, located at the intersection across the street from Camp Casey’s main gate.
Homeboy EZ Pawn and its sister store, Hometown EZ Pawn, were placed off-limits March 27 for dealing the stolen property, according to Area I officials.
Glassman began stealing in July to pay for billiards games and drinks with bargirls in “The Ville” near Camp Casey, Halverson said.
He fell in love with a bargirl and needed money to pay for an engagement ring, Halverson said.
On Oct. 23 and Nov. 7, Glassman broke into soldier barracks rooms and took the computers and other personal effects.
Military Judge Col. Gregory Gross sentenced Glassman to four years in prison, but a pretrial agreement struck by Glassman and defense counsel Capt. Chris Waite limited the sentence to 30 months.
In military court, judges are unaware of the pretrial agreement sentence until they render their verdict; the lesser of the two sentences is then accepted.