A COLONEL'S CAREER LOST FOR $65 - WHY
DID ROBERT PETIT SELF-DESTRUCT? - MARINE
COMMANDER OF 24TH EXPEDITIONARY UNIT
AT CAMP LEJEUNE FOUND GUILTY OF SHOP-
LIFTING AT LOCAL WAL-MART - CAUGHT HIDING
PRINTER INK CARTRIDGES AND STP OIL
TREATMENT BOTTLE UNDER JACKET - GETS
96 HOURS OF "COMMUNITY SERVICE" FROM
SYMPATHETIC JUDGE - RELIEVED OF COMMAND
BY MARINE CORPS - ENLISTED AS GRUNT BACK
IN 1978 - KLEPTOMANIAC? - TIME TO RETIRE

© 2011 MilitaryCorruption.com

This is a sad story all around. One of those that cause you to scratch your head and wonder WHY? Why would a respected bird colonel in the United States Marine Corps self-destruct by shop-lifting $65 worth of items from a local Wal-Mart? Is the man a closet kleptomaniac? Is this the first time he has done this, or just the first time he was caught?

What we do have for facts are these: Col. Robert Gerald Petit, former commanding officer of the USMC 24th Expeditionary Unit at Camp Lejeune was caught on security cameras heisting two HP printer cartridges and a bottle of STP treatment and hiding the merchandise under his jacket.

Loss prevention personnel stopped the colonel at the store vestibule and took him back to the office where he acknowledged he had not paid for the items. The police were called and at that point, Petit's military career was over.

CAMERAS DON'T LIE - COLONEL CAUGHT ON FILM

Video from the store security cameras clearly show the colonel attempted to hide the purloined material and deposited wrappers in different places in the store in an apparent effort to conceal the theft.

At his court appearance, Petit's civilian attorney tried to get the case thrown out, but backed off when confronted by video proof the colonel had tried to steal the goods. Judge Louis Foy in Jacksonville, N.C. showed Petit mercy when he sentenced him to 96 hours of "community service." No fine. That's it. Such a lenient sentence might stick in the craw of some staff sergeant or gunny caught in the same circumstances. They wouldn't have gotten the same deal.

Petit appeared before the judge in his Class "A" service uniform. The judge was suitably impressed. "This man has lived an exemplary life," Foy said. "He has performed outstanding duty for his country."

The colonel, who let his lawyer talk for him, had no comment.

HOPES FOR A GENERAL'S STAR NOW GONE

The New Orleans native enlisted in the Corps back in 1978 and earned his officer's commission seven years later. Sources at Lejeune say Petit was in line for a brigadier general's star before this incident. Now, he will be lucky to retire in the grade of colonel.

He was relieved of command in February. Capt. Timothy Patrick, a spokesperson for the II Marine Expeditionary Force, said Petit received "non-judicial punishment." Since the actions taken "were administrative in nature," no further information will be released, he said.

The 50 year-old Marine officer's military career may have ended after 33 years, but he is lucky not to have paid a fine or even done a few days in jail.

 

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