POLICE OFFICER CHARGED WITH STEALING MONEY FROM FELLOW OFFICERS OUT OF DONATIONS INTENDED FOR RETIRING COLLEAGUE’S GIFT

SANTA ANA, Calif. – A police officer was charged today with stealing money from fellow officers out of a collection of donations intended to purchase a gift for a retiring colleague. Mario Ricci, 48, Los Angeles, is charged with one misdemeanor count of petty theft. If convicted, he faces a maximum of six months in county jail. Ricci is scheduled to be arraigned on March 6, 2017, in Department W-4, West Justice Center, Westminster. The time is to be determined.

At the time of the crime, Ricci was a detective with the Huntington Beach Police Department (HBPD).

Between Dec. 8, 2016, and Dec. 15, 2016, Ricci is accused of stealing donations from other HBPD employees intended to go toward a gift for a retiring colleague from an envelope at HBPD headquarters. On Dec. 8, 2016, other HBPD officers noticed money was missing from the donation envelope. On Dec. 9, 2016, HBPD conducted an investigation into the matter and documented the denominations and serial numbers of the bills in the envelope. On Dec. 15, 2016, HBPD investigators contacted Ricci as he was leaving the building, and the defendant is accused of being in possession of bills that were previously documented as being in the donation envelope. The investigation was turned over to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office Bureau of Investigations.

Senior Deputy District Attorney Brock Zimmon of the Special Prosecutions Unit is prosecuting this case.

Orange County District Attorney / Case # 17WM00580 / January 19, 2017

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