At least seven police cadets from the 77th Street Division face theft charges for allegedly stealing police cars and other tactical equipment. The teenage cadets – ranging in age from 14-18, led police on chases through the city before crashing at least two of the vehicles. Police recovered a third, undamaged vehicle.
The teens checked out tactical equipment, including bullet proof vests, radios and Tasers before taking the vehicles from the station. The cadets “authorized” the equipment removal by forging the name of a sergeant who was on vacation at the time.
Although police arrested the teens for the thefts in mid-June, at least one of the vehicles could have been stolen in May. Police Chief Charlie Beck said that the stolen vehicles had more than 1,000 unlogged miles on their odometers when recovered. Investigating officers used video surveillance footage of the station to determine when the thefts occurred.
The cadet program currently has about 2,300 participants, who must complete an 18-week training program. Once trained, the cadets can work as volunteers at their assigned police station. Beck suspended the cadet program at the 77th Street and Pacific stations, as the result of the incident.
Los Angeles theft lawyer
Facing theft charges as an adult is difficult, but juveniles can also be charged with theft. If you’re accused of theft – either as an adult or a juvenile – you need the assistance of an experienced, aggressive criminal defense attorney like Robert Helfend.
Mr. Helfend practices criminal defense exclusively. He takes cases in Los Angeles County and throughout Southern California. With more than 30 years of criminal defense experience, Mr. Helfend knows what it takes to provide an effective courtroom defense.
Don’t rely on an inexperienced attorney, and don’t assume that you can defend yourself in court.
Contact Robert Helfend or call toll-free at (800) 834-6434, (310) 456-3317, (818) 591-2809 or (805) 273-5611 for an immediate consultation on your Los Angeles County theft case.
Photo Credit: Tony Hisgett, via Flickr.com