Soldier hunted after rifle theft

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The Independent Online

Police today arrested a 21-year-old Iraq War veteran after a military rifle was stolen from an Army barracks.

Police today arrested a 21-year-old Iraq War veteran after a military rifle was stolen from an Army barracks.

West Midlands Police had earlier launched a major operation to trace Lance Corporal James Piotrowski, a member of the Irish Guards based at London's Wellington Barracks.

Assistant Chief Constable Stuart Hyde said the joint operation with the Royal Military Police to locate the soldier had also led to the arrest of two women and one man.

The serviceman was arrested in his home suburb of Northfield, Birmingham.

DBefore the arrest, Mr Hyde said of Piotrowski: "Although his military service has been short, he has served his Queen and country bravely, including three months at the height of the Iraq War.

"Having succeeded in all his training courses, he was promoted very quickly in recognition of his skills and ability.

"James has a number of friends and colleagues from the Northfield area, many of whom will want to ensure his and the public's safety."

It is understood that the man who has been detained is connected with the armed forces.