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Veteran LAPD officer pleads guilty to stealing from luxury hotel

July 30, 2012 | 12:36 pm

Resort

A veteran Los Angeles police officer has pleaded guilty to felony theft and burglary charges after stealing from the luxury Laguna Beach resort where he also worked as a security guard, Orange County prosecutors said Monday.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Robert R. Fitzgerald sentenced Jeffry Paul Quinton, 47, of Anaheim Hills, to 120 days in jail and three years of probation, and ordered him to pay restitution in exchange for the plea, the Orange County District Attorney's Office said. Quinton faced a maximum sentence of three years and eight months behind bars for the grand theft and commercial burglary charges.

In March, Laguna Beach police arrested Quinton after looking at surveillance footage from the Surf and Sand Resort, where the 21-year veteran of the LAPD worked a second job as a security guard.

As part of his hotel job, prosecutors said, Quinton had access to the resort's computerized lost-and-found system.

In October 2011, authorities said Quinton accessed that computer system and changed records that showed hotel staff had found $2,000 in a room, falsifying the report to say that a gold watch had been found instead. Quinton also changed the room number where the money was found and said the watch was returned to its owner.

Authorities also said Quinton stole $960 out of the resort's safe.

In December of the same year, authorities said Quinton covered a surveillance camera in the resort's security office with tape for several minutes as he stole $680 from a safe deposit box. A month later, he was accused of stealing $290 in bedding from a locked hotel storage room.

Quinton's attorney, Glenn Osajima, said his client wanted a quick resolution to the case because he "acknowledged ... that he made a bad mistake in judgement." 

Deputy District Attorney Andrew Katz had asked that Quinton spend a year behind bars because he "abused a position of trust" at the hotel.

"As a policeman, he should be held to a higher standard than the average person because this is someone who assumably was hired specifically because he would bring to the job the integrity we expect police to have," he said.

Quinton was placed on paid administrative leave from the LAPD pending the outcome of the criminal case, but his status with the LAPD following Monday's sentencing was not immediately known.

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— Kate Mather

Follow Kate Mather on Twitter or Google+.

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

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