Thetford Township military gear returned by fed up resident

The controversy surrounding the use of surplus military gear in Thetford Township is back. (Photo: WEYI/WSMH)

THETFORD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The controversy surrounding the use of surplus military gear in Thetford Township is back.

It started last year when township officials questioned the police chief about where the gear was being stored.

Then, seemingly out of nowhere, several pieces of that equipment showed up in the township hall parking lot.

The resident who was storing the equipment says he got fed up with the township supervisor and a trustee who were accusing him of misusing the equipment.

He says he was storing it on his farm for free at the request of the township police chief but after the constant back and forth he felt it was best to just get rid of it, so he dropped it off here at the township hall over the weekend.

The township police department has been receiving old military equipment like vehicles, generators, and office supplies through a government program that gives it away to police departments for free.

Thetford township police has received about a million dollars of gear.

And last December supervisor Gary Stevens and trustee Stan Piechnik asked the police chief for a list of all the gear and where it was stored.

The police chief told nbc25 back in December he provided them with the list.

But supervisor Stevens says the list was incomplete and it's his job to make sure everything is accounted for.

The man who dropped the equipment off says he's just sick of all the drama.

"We never used nothing and I’m tired of the harassment that's why we did what we did yesterday you know what leave me alone that's all I ask,” said resident Eugene Lehr, who returned the equipment.

"This is kind of where its escalated to. It's just a drop in the bucket of what's out there, I'm not sure how much more there is or even where it's at. I'm grateful that some things are coming back to the township because I'm sure we can use some of the money from the sales or auction of these things,” said Stevens.

Monday evening the township had its monthly board meeting.

And residents we spoke with say they plan to be here to voice their frustration with the whole thing.

Some have even started a petition to recall supervisor Stevens and trustee Piechnik.

We'll have more from the meeting tonight on FOX66 News at Ten.

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