Anaheim police who last week arrested a veteran Los Angeles police sergeant for allegedly stealing electronic equipment and scuffling with a security guard expressed dismay Wednesday at Orange County prosecutors' decision not to charge him with a felony.
After reviewing the case, the district attorney's office decided that a felony robbery charge was not warranted and referred the case to the Anaheim city attorney's office for possible misdemeanor shoplifting and assault charges.
"We're disappointed," Anaheim Police Sgt. Rick Martinez said. "A crime is a crime, and our job is to enforce the laws evenly and fairly. We don't want the perception that this guy is getting special favors."
Kurt Blodgett, who works in the LAPD's Van Nuys division, was arrested June 8 at a Fry's Electronics store on La Palma Avenue. Store security guards saw him taking items and concealing them under his clothes, police said. When a guard confronted him outside the store, the two scuffled, with the guard suffering minor scrapes.
Security guards found $500 worth of electronic equipment on Blodgett, police said.
Assistant Dist. Atty. Bill Feccia said Blodgett's lack of a criminal record was a major factor in the decision not to charge him with a felony.
"We have to treat all citizens the same . . . and that's what we tried to do," Feccia said.
Blodgett has been placed on paid administrative leave.