SANTA ANA (CBSLA) – An Orange County sheriff's deputy was arrested on suspicion of burglary, the department said Thursday.
Deputy Steve Hortz, a 12-year veteran of the department, responded on July 20 at a house in Yorba Linda after a man in his seventies died of obvious natural causes, according to the OCSD.
On September 9, a family property lawyer called the division to report items missing from the home. The lawyer delivered a surveillance video in which Hortz entered the residence at least three times and left the residence with allegedly stolen property.
In the first incident, Hortz returned to the apartment on July 27 and allegedly broke through the back of the unoccupied residence and left a short time later. It was unclear whether Hortz, who was in uniform at the time, left property from the home.
Hortz then returned home in civilian clothes on the morning of August 10 and 16 and allegedly removed items such as gun safes, ceiling fans, and suitcases containing unknown items.
OCSD immediately launched an investigation into the break-ins as soon as they were reported. Hortz was arrested on the morning of September 10th and sent to Santa Ana Prison on suspicion of burglary. He was also taken on administrative leave, and the department said it was investigating previous calls that Hortz had handled to see if similar cases had occurred.
"The alleged criminal activity of this MP constitutes a violation of public trust," OC Sheriff Don Barnes said in a statement. "This MP will be held accountable through a prompt and thorough process, including a full criminal and internal administrative investigation."
Hortz faces three felony charges and one misdemeanor charge. He stayed behind bars on Thursday night in lieu of a $ 20,000 bond.