Soldiers thwart attempted theft while training on Fort Drum

News release

FORT DRUM, NY – On Thursday, August 19, at approximately 5 a.m. an individual, later identified as Nathan J. McElhone, approached a unit of Soldiers within Fort Drum’s training areas and attempted to steal a vehicle from their security detail while insinuating he was armed with a weapon.

After approaching and being questioned, McElhone made an effort to drive away in one of the unit’s military vehicles but was thwarted by the Soldiers who subdued and detained him until Military Police and Fort Drum Emergency Services personnel arrived. One Soldier sustained minor injuries during his efforts to prevent McElhone from leaving the scene and was treated in the field by the unit’s medical personnel.

Law enforcement officials determined that McElhone was not armed but had stolen other military property to include targets and a wood shelving unit. McElhone was later handed over to the New York State Police and is currently in the custody of the Jefferson County Sherriff’s Department. The investigation into his actions is ongoing.

“I’d like to thank the New York State Troopers who responded quickly, assisting our emergency services personnel on the scene,” said MG Milford Beagle, Commanding General 10th Mountain Division (LI) and Fort Drum, “And I’d also like to recognize the Soldiers of 7th Engineer Battalion, 1st Brigade Combat Team. During a high-stress situation, they used their training and responded quickly and safely to detain the individual. They prevented the theft of Army assets but also prevented a local citizen from being injured, despite his own best efforts.”