A former Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department recruit who worked as a Brinks security guard has been charged in the theft of more than $65,000 that he was supposed to deliver to an ATM in Newhall, prosecutors said Wednesday.
Julio Cesar Jimenez, 35, of Santa Clarita, faces charges of grand theft, arson and vandalism, prosecutors said. He was arrested on Feb. 15.
After the theft, Jimenez may have accidentally burned himself while allegedly lighting a fire to destroy evidence, law enforcement officials told NBC4 last month.
Jimenez was hired by the Sheriff's Department on Dec. 14, 2017 and began academy training four days later, according to the Sheriff's Department.
Top news of the day
He was in the initial phase of the 22-week academy when investigators discovered his potential involvement in the crimes, officials said.
The Brinks Company did not return multiple phone or email messages requesting comment. NBC4's attempts to reach Jimenez have been unsuccessful.
Department officials said in a written statement that they conduct extensive background checks on all applicants before they are hired.
They said that few of the total applicants — less than 5 percent — successfully complete the process and are selected to enter the training academy.
"Based on the timeline, it appears the crimes allegedly committed by Jimenez occurred between the time his background investigation concluded and his date of employment with the Department," the department said.