Bundeswehr loses 32,000 bullets in break-in

Bundeswehr loses 32,000 bullets in break-in
Photo: DPA
Robbers have stolen more than 32,000 bullets from the Bundeswehr - the biggest such theft in 30 years and one which a newspaper says illustrates dreadful security standards in German barracks.

The Welt newspaper said on Tuesday that between 2002 and 2013, badly secured Bundeswehr sites saw 524 break-ins, 294 cases of vandalism, 55 cases of arson and 460 thefts.

Ammunition was stolen 14 times, while weapons were stolen 30 times, the paper said.

The theft on February 7th from the Seedorf paratrooper barracks in Lower Saxony involved 32,981 bullets of various calibres, weighing a total of up to 600 kilos.

Four authorities were investigating the theft, the paper said – not only the local police and state security service, but also the Bundeswehr paratroopers and the Military Defence Service (MAD).

A confidential report said the barracks were closed down as soon as the loss of the bullets was noticed – and a hole was found to have been cut in the fence surrounding the complex. The assumption is that a vehicle was used to take the ammunition away.

The munitions bunker where the bullets were stored were "not additionally fenced off or technically secured", the report said, according to the Welt. And this despite recommendations made in 2006 by an advisory commission that security measures be tightened.

These recommendations included the site at Seedorf – and specifically the munitions bunkers which the report said should have been surrounded by an extra fence and fitted with burglary alarms.

None of these measures were undertaken at Seedorf, the Welt said, because they were too expensive. Lights were installed instead, and locks.

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