LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. (WKYT, WYMT) - A sign hanging on the Kentucky National Guard Armory in Laurel County calls on men and women to serve their country by joining the National Guard. However, it's inside the same Armory that Kentucky State Police say they caught a man who was serving himself instead.
"His position was to oversee the supply items (and) the equipment," explained Trooper Don Trosper.
The Armory, right behind the State Police Post, is where they say 32-year-old Christopher Bunch was stealing items from the Guard's supply.
"Things like: binoculars, MREs which are meals ready to eat, and clothing items. The Kentucky Army National Guard is a branch of the state, so these were state owned items that were taken," listed Trooper Trosper.
Investigators believe this series of thefts was likely happening for roughly a year or longer.
"The National Guard unit knew those items were missing. They were doing inventory and missed items and it took them a little while to track down everything. Then they turned their investigation over to us. Our investigation lasted approximately two months."
The National Guard could not comment on camera about this investigation, but they tell WKYT that Bunch serves as a Sergeant and is one of five full-time employees at the Armory that serves 120 soldiers.
"That is a position of trust that he should've honored a little more than what he had," added Trooper Trosper.
Bunch declined to comment on camera, but tells WYMT that investigators need to "dig deeper." Bunch said he's served in the National Guard for close to 11 years and was in the Army for three years before that.
Police say they have recovered in excess of $2,000 worth of equipment from people that they say Bunch sold to, and investigators believe that's only a small amount of what he likely stole from the Armory.
The National Guard said they will not take any disciplinary action against Bunch until the matter is resolved in court.