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Video shows O.C. sheriff’s deputy stealing from dead man’s house, authorities say

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VIDEO | 01:01
Video shows O.C. sheriff’s deputy stealing from dead man’s house

Deputy Steve Hortz has been arrested and placed on administrative leave in connection with a Yorba Linda burglary.

An Orange County sheriff’s deputy has been arrested on suspicion of burglary after authorities say he stole items from a Yorba Linda home where an elderly man had recently died.

Officials allege the deputy — identified as Steve Hortz, who has been with the department 12 years — broke into the home at least three times, with his visits captured on surveillance video provided to the Sheriff’s Department by an estate attorney Wednesday.

In the early morning of Aug. 10 and 16, Hortz “removed items including weapon safes, ceiling fans and cases containing unknown items” from the home, according to a Sheriff’s Department statement.

He also entered the property while in uniform on July 27, authorities say, though it is unclear whether any items were taken at that time.

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Hortz had initially responded to a call for service at the home on July 20 regarding a man in his 70s who had died, apparently from natural causes, sheriff’s officials said.

Hortz was arrested Thursday morning and has been placed on administrative leave, according to the Sheriff’s Department. Officials said they plan to investigate previous calls that he handled.

Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes pledged to “hold accountable deputies who do not honor the oath they swore to uphold” and said that “criminal actions by a member of my staff will not be tolerated and are not indicative of the service we provide to Yorba Linda, or any other contract city.”

“The suspected criminal actions of this deputy are a violation of public trust, are inexcusable and intolerable,” Barnes said in a statement Thursday. “This deputy will be held accountable through a swift and thorough process, including a full criminal and internal administrative investigation.”


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