November 29, 2022

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Previous O.C. sheriff’s deputy indicted right after allegedly breaking into dead man’s house and thieving guns

A grand jury indicted a previous Orange County sheriff’s deputy on burglary and gun theft expenses months after he allegedly broke into a deceased man’s dwelling many situations, prosecutors reported Tuesday.

Steve Hortz is seen in a booking photo provided to the Los Angeles Times by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department,
Steve Hortz is noticed in a scheduling picture provided to the Los Angeles Situations by the Orange County Sheriff’s Department,

Surveillance online video unveiled Steve Hortz, 42, forcing his way into the Yorba Linda home of a male he found dead during a welfare look at in the summer season, according to the Orange County District Attorney’s Business office. He and two other deputies responded to the dwelling located together Via Angelina Push on July 20 and uncovered the person experienced died from purely natural leads to, prosecutors mentioned.

7 days later on, Hortz broke into the man’s house even though on responsibility and in uniform, in accordance to prosecutors. He allegedly came back again one more two times — on Aug. 10 and Aug. 16 — shortly ahead of he was scheduled to perform. Prosecutors explained he stole 15 firearms between other goods.

Hortz, a resident of San Dimas, has been indicted on three felony counts of second-diploma theft and two felony counts of grand theft of a firearm, according to prosecutors.

He could encounter up to four several years and 4 months in point out prison if convicted of all expenses.

“This act in and of itself has done so significantly problems to the community perception of regulation enforcement and the timing could not be additional detrimental,” DA Todd Spitzer mentioned in a created assertion Tuesday.

Hortz’ future courtroom appearance is scheduled for Jan. 26.

When announcing his arrest on Sept. 10, the O.C. Sheriff’s Department claimed Hortz was positioned on paid depart after investigators uncovered he stole goods from the man’s dwelling this kind of as weapon safes and ceiling enthusiasts. A working day before, an legal professional representing the man’s estate experienced contacted sheriff’s officers.

“Yesterday was when the surveillance movie was brought to our focus,” Carrie Braun, a spokeswoman for the division, reported at the time.

The company had been investigating the thefts for about a week but the law firm showed officers video clip of Hortz breaking in, linking him to the thefts for the to start with time, she said.

On Sept. 30, Hortz resigned from the Sheriff’s Section somewhat than being fired, prosecutors explained.

Pursuing his arrest, sheriff’s officers claimed they ended up investigating whether the 12-yr veteran deputy committed equivalent thefts and crimes though on responsibility.

“I will do every thing we can to make positive he does not return to a uniform in this organization or any where else for that issue,” Sheriff Don Barnes informed reporters at the time.

“He’s ashamed this profession, he’s humiliated this organization, and he’s embarrassed the pretty much 4,000 members who do very good work everyday,” Barnes mentioned.

The working day right before officials introduced Hortz’ arrest, Orange County prosecutors declared a felony cost from one more O.C. sheriff’s deputy, Angelina Cortez. She was accused of thieving a financial institution card from a theft suspect in November 2018 and giving it to her son.