Guardsman Steals Missile-Firing Simulator as 'Garage Ornament'

A Florida National Guardsman will face 18 months of probation after pleading guilty to the theft of a Stinger missile-firing simulator that he thought would make a great "garage ornament."

Scott Howarth was sentenced in a Tampa federal court Wednesday to a charge of theft of government property. The 21-year-old took a deal in May.

Howarth took the $37,000 gadget home after it was left behind in his vehicle during training in Fort Stewart, Ga., last October, authorities said.

Judge Susan Bucklew ordered him to undergo mental health counseling as a condition of his probation.

"I don't think there was any ulterior motive here," Assistant U.S. Attorney Eduardo E. Toro-Font said, according to the Tampa Tribune.

Before being sentenced, Howarth told the judge he had made "a very stupid and foolish mistake."

Howarth lost his job as a Charlotte County corrections officer after the theft, the paper said. He is training to become an auto painter.

Click here to read more at the Tampa Tribune.