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Officers Probed in Laker Ticket Theft

The Long Beach Police Department’s internal affairs unit is investigating how four officers obtained stolen tickets to a Laker pro basketball playoff game, Police Chief Lawrence L. Binkley said Tuesday.

The officers, who said they bought the tickets from a waitress, showed up at the game May 20 and were told by Forum security guards that the tickets they used had been stolen.

The tickets and other goods worth about $1,400 were stolen May 17 from a car parked in Long Beach with its sunroof open, Binkley said. One part of the inquiry involves “what they (the officers) did after they became aware the tickets were stolen,” he said.

The tickets apparently passed through several hands before they were sold to the waitress and later to the officers, according to Terry Holland, vice president of the Long Beach Police Officers Assn., the police union.

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Holland, who is representing some of the officers, said they were cleared of any criminal wrongdoing in an investigation last week. The internal affairs investigation probably will cover the issue of whether it was proper for an officer to buy the tickets while on duty, he said.

Although there were only four tickets, a fifth officer is included in the investigation for lending $100 to one of the others for the purchase.


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