Feds: Former Pa. worker stole 600 surplus combat helmets

A former state employee is facing federal charges for allegedly stealing more than 600 U.S. military combat helmets from his job at a Pennsylvania surplus warehouse.

Michael Gantz, 43, worked as an acquisition officer at the Pennsylvania Department of General Services' surplus property warehouse until July 2014, according to criminal charges filed Friday in U.S. District Court in Harrisburg.

Between July 2009 and January 2010, he allegedly stole 610 combat helmets provided by the federal government for distribution to state and local law enforcement officers. The helmets have an estimated value of more than $5,000, according to investigators.

Gantz, of Marietta, Pa., has filed an agreement indicating he will plead guilty to a felony count of theft concerning programs receiving federal funds, prosecutors said.

He faces up to 10 years in prison and $250,000 in fines, in addition to restitution.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Defense's Defense Logistic Agency and Office of the Inspector General's Defense Criminal Investigative Service.

It will be prosecuted by Senior Litigation Counsel Bruce Brandler, of the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Contact Alex Wigglesworth at 215-854-2305 or awigglesworth@philly.com. Follow @phila_lex on Twitter.

Contact the Breaking News Desk at 215-854-2443; BreakingNewsDesk@philly.com. Follow @phillynews on Twitter.