Los Angeles

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Recruit Arrested in $120K ATM Burglary

Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department recruit Julio Cesar Jimenez got his first taste of real police work about two months into his academy training -- when he was arrested by detectives investigating a sophisticated ATM burglary.

NBC4 learned of the case earlier this month after Jimenez was booked on suspicion of arson, grand theft, and embezzlement.

Law enforcement officials not authorized to discuss the case publicly said Jimenez stole about $120,000 in cash from an ATM in Newhall, and said he may have accidentally burned himself while allegedly lighting a fire to destroy evidence.

Those officials said most of the money was recovered during a search of Jimenez's home.

Jimenez, 35, was hired by the Sheriff's Department on Dec. 14, 2017 and began academy training four days later, according to the Sheriff's Department.

"He was in the initial phase of the 22 week academy when the discovery of his potential involvement in the crimes surfaced," the Department said in a written statement. "Suspect Jimenez is no longer employed by the Department."

Jimenez was arrested Feb. 15, posted bail, and was released.

The law enforcement sources, who were not authorized to discuss the case, said Jimenez was employed by an armored courier company as an armed guard just prior to the theft.

State records show Jimenez had permits to work as an armed security guard.

The Brinks Company did not return phone or email messages requesting comment.

A Sheriff's spokesperson declined to provide any more detail on the case.

NBC4's attempts to reach Jimenez have been unsuccessful.

Criminal charges had not been filed as of this week, according to the LA County District Attorney's Office.

In the written statement the department said:

"The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department conducts an extensive background investigation on all applicants before they are hired for the position of Deputy Sheriff Trainee. Very few of the total applicants, less than 5 percent, successfully complete the extensive 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."

Copyright CNS - City News Service
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