By Brad Segall

HORSHAM, Pa. (CBS) – A sergeant in the US Marines is under arrest in Montgomery County, charged with stealing government property worth more than three quarters of a million dollars from the now-closed Willow Grove Naval Air Station in Horsham.

Federal prosecutors say 28-year-old Christopher Cook of Lakehurst, NJ was charged with theft and destruction of government property. They say Cook swiped nearly 60,000 pounds of aluminum helicopter pads and other metal objects between August of last year and February of this year.

Assistant US attorney John Pease says Cook sold the stolen material to a scrap dealer for more than $50,000.

“In the indictment we allege that he used the money for a variety of personal items including travel expenses, restaurants and other entertainment, clothing and jewelry, and repairs to his truck,” Pease says.

The indictment alleges that Cook rented U-Haul trucks and drove them onto the base where he stole the material.

He’s the only one charged in the case. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years behind bars plus hefty fines.

Reported by Brad Segall, KYW Newsradio 1060

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