Written By @cabbagepatchgrl
A Southern California sheriff’s deputy is facing a burglary charge after being accused of stealing items from an unoccupied home days after responding to a death there.
12-year veteran Steve Hortz of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department was arrested Thursday and placed on administrative leave.
Authorities say Hortz went to the home on July 20 after responding to a report about a man in his 70s who died of natural causes. He then returned to the home three more times in late July to Mid-August, once in uniform, to unlock the door, and twice more to remove items from the home.
A home security video captured the crime.
In a news conference on Thursday, Sheriff Don Barnes said that “Deputy Hortz returned to that residence in the early morning hours, gained entrance to the residence through the unlocked door, and was seen on recordings removing items from the residence.”
Hortz is accused of taking two safes, ceiling fans, a rifle case, and other items that have “yet to be determined.”
An attorney for the deceased’s estate contacted the police department to report items missing and turn over the home security video.
“The suspected criminal actions of this deputy are a violation of public trust, are inexcusable and intolerable,” Barnes said.
The Association of Orange County Deputy Sheriffs had no immediate comment in Cortez’s case.