This is coolbert:
Allied forces during WW2 deserters a serious problem and gangs of deserters engaging in downright gangster activity an even more serious problem. The Canadian Harold Pringle was hardly a unique example of bad behavior in this regard by allied troops during the war.
An excerpt of an excerpt thanks to Chicago National Public Radio 91.5 WBEZ.
"A Hidden History Of World War II"
by CHARLES GLASS.
"A minority [of deserters] deserted to make money, stealing and selling the military supplies that their comrades at the front needed to survive. From 1944 to 1946, Allied deserters ran the black market economies of Naples, Rome and Paris. Their plundering of Allied supply convoys, often at gunpoint, deprived General George Patton of petrol as his tanks were about to breach Germany's Siegfried Line. Rampant thieving left their comrades at the front short of food, blankets, ammunition and other vital supplies. In Italy, deserters drove trucks of looted Allied equipment for the Italian-American Mafioso Vito Genovese (who concealed his fascist past and made himself indispensable to Allied commanders in Naples). Military police chased the notorious Lane Gang of deserters for most of 1944. The gang's head, who used the pseudonym Robert Lane, was a twenty-three-year-old private from Allentown, Pennsylvania, named Werner Schmeidel. His mob terrorized the military and civilians alike in a crime spree of robbery, extortion and murder. After MPs captured them in November 1944, they made a daring Christmas Eve prison break and hid among the Roman underworld. Recaptured many weeks later, Schmeidel and his top henchman were hanged for murder in June 1945. That did not put an end, however, to other deserter criminal operations that continued well into the postwar era. (Two members of the Lane Gang who remained at large hijacked an army safe with $133,000 in cash on its way from Rome to Florence one week after their accomplices' hangings.) In France, American deserters collaborated with Corsican hoodlums in the theft and sale of cigarettes, whiskey, petrol and other contraband. French civilians compared the German troops' supposedly 'correct' behavior during their four-year occupation to the terror wrought by rampaging American deserters who raped and robbed at will."
A. It is estimated the pilferage rate from U.S. Army rear-echelon supply depots in France during WW2 about 20 %!!
B. German army "correct behavior" during the occupation of France [1940-1944] markedly quite superior than the bad behavior of allied forces in the aftermath of the Normandy invasion. Ten times the number of French women raped by allied troops during a short period of months  than in four years of German troop presence in France.
"In Paris, especially, the lure of pretty women and unearned wealth beckoned to any American GI or British Tommy willing to desert. One of these was Sergeant Alfred T. Whitehead, a Tennessee farm boy who had earned Silver and Bronze Stars for bravery in Normandy. He became a gangster in post-liberation Paris, living with a café waitress and robbing Allied supply depots as well as restaurants and ordinary citizens. His type of deserter, who operated in what the French press called 'Chicago' gangs, caused more worry to the Allied command than the ordinary deserter who simply went into hiding. New York Times correspondent Dana Adams Schmidt wrote that 'American Army deserters hijack trucks on the open highway and fight gun battles with the American military police.' Another of his dispatches from Paris added, 'The French police fear to interfere unless accompanied by M.P.'s.' Hunting down deserters became a full- time job for MPs from most Allied countries."
Makes for very sad and sorry reading, doesn't it?
Let me get this straight too! These American deserters willing to commit violence and fight gun battles with American military police but unable to return to their unit and participate in combat. Assuming those criminal-minded deserters were even combat arms!!