LOS ANGELES (CNS) - A Los Angeles police officer has been charged with stealing money from a backpack at an illegal marijuana grow facility while he was on duty in January, the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office announced today.
Luis Alfredo Mota, 46, is set to be arraigned Jan. 25 on one felony count of second-degree burglary and one misdemeanor count of petty theft.
Mota was on duty and helping to serve a search warrant at a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles when he allegedly stole money from an employee's backpack on Jan. 27, according to the District Attorney's Office.
In a statement earlier this year, the LAPD said the worker notified an LAPD supervisor that money was missing from her personal backpack and that a review of closed-circuit cameras led investigators to “believe Officer Mota had taken cash from the worker's backpack.''
Mota's badge, gun and department ID were removed as he was taken into custody, and the department's Internal Affairs Group was notified, according to the LAPD statement, which said he had been assigned to home pending the outcome of the administrative and criminal investigations.
Mota was subsequently released on his own recognizance, according to the LAPD.
“No employee of this department is above the law, and we will not tolerate any individual who betrays the public's trust through this type of behavior,'' LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in the statement released in January by the LAPD.
Mota could face up to three years in county jail if convicted as charged, according to the District Attorney's Office.