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Moonlighting LAPD officer charged with thefts from luxury hotel

March 13, 2012 | 11:56 am

Photo: The Surf & Sand Resort in Laguna Beach. Credit: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles TimesA veteran Los Angeles police officer who was moonlighting as a security guard at a Laguna Beach luxury hotel has been charged in connection with a scheme to steal money and other items from its lost and found, Orange County prosecutors said Tuesday.

Jeffry Paul Quinton, 48, of Anaheim Hills, faces two felonies -- grand theft and commercial burglary, said officials with the Orange County district attorney's office. If convicted of all charges, he faces a maximum sentence of three years and eight months behind bars.

Quinton, who was arrested by the Laguna Beach Police Department, has been placed on paid administrative leave pending the outcome of the criminal case, LAPD officials said.

A 21-year LAPD veteran assigned to the Central Division, Quinton also worked as a security guard for the Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach.

As part of his off-duty job, he had access to the hotel's computerized “lost and found” system. In October 2011, authorities said he accessed that system and changed records that showed that hotel staff had recovered $2,000 from a hotel room.

The cash entry was falsified to reflect that a gold watch had been recovered, authorities said.  In addition, Quinton changed the room number where the money was found and changed the record to reflect that the watch was returned to its owner. Authorities said he also stole $960 out of the safe.

Two months later, Quinton covered a surveillance camera in the hotel's security office with tape for several minutes, prosecutors said. While the view was obscured, he stole $680 out of the safe deposit box in the office, authorities said.

In late January, Quinton is accused of stealing $290 in bedding from a locked hotel storage room and putting the items in his car. Quinton was arrested after Laguna Beach police reviewed security surveillance footage.


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Photo: The Surf and Sand Resort in Laguna Beach. Credit: Gina Ferazzi/Los Angeles Times