A former deputy sheriff is accused of taking credit cards from a deceased lady when he was sent to perform a welfare check in 2020.
The Sheriff’s Deputy Performed a Welfare Check But Stole 3 Cards
In a recently published article in Newsweek, Steve Hortz, 42 years old, of San Dimas, California, is accused of stealing three cards from a residence in Yorba Linda, California, where he was dispatched to do a welfare check in August 2020. On his arrival, he discovered that the lady he had been assigned to locate, had died.
Hortz, a 12-year member of the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, allegedly attempted to use the credit cards to make thousands of dollars in online transactions after allegedly stealing them. This featured a variety of car components as well as QVC goods. Almost all of these offers were turned down.
Four felony charges of attempted grand theft, one felony offense of identity theft, and one felony case of grand theft embezzlement were filed against Hortz on Friday. If convicted, he will face a maximum term of four years and four months, according to a published article in Tulsa World.
Recent Legal Troubles of the Former Deputy
Hortz has a long history of legal issues and criminal behavior. He was arrested in September on unrelated charges related to a wellness check he assisted with two other officers in July, according to a recently published news report in OA News.
Hortz was seen on surveillance video coming to the residence several times after learning that the homeowner had died of natural causes, stealing $27,000 worth of firearms and other things, including a gun safe and ceiling fans. While he was on duty, he made one of these return visits.
Hortz resigned from the Sheriff’s Office on September 30, 2020, after his arrest. He was charged with three charges of second-degree burglary and two counts of grand theft of a weapon in December.
Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said “This individual was called to assist grieving families in a time of need and instead he betrayed their trust. This behavior is unworthy of someone who wears the badge and thankfully as a result of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department investigation, he is no longer in a position where he can use his uniform and badge to victimize the very people he was sworn to protect.”
Furthermore, the Orange County Sheriff’s Office stated that they are looking into whether Hortz committed any more thefts while working for the agency, according to a report published in MSN News.