Former LASD recruit gets 180 days in jail for stealing $110,000, burning ATM


A one-time recruit of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department who lives in the Santa Clarita Valley was sentenced late last week to 180 days in jail after he pleaded no contest to one felony count each of arson and grand theft, with an enhancement that the value exceeded $65,000.

Julio Cesar Jimenez, 35, of Santa Clarita, who was arrested on Feb. 15 and described at the time in an L.A. County Sheriff’s Department news release as a newly hired recruit, appeared Friday in San Fernando Superior Court.

He is no longer employed by the LASD.

“Jimenez was sentenced to 180 days in jail and five years of formal probation,” Ricardo Santiago, spokesman for the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office, said Tuesday.

“The defendant also was ordered to complete 45 days of community labor and 26 sessions of mental health counseling,” he said.

On Jan. 4, 2019, a restitution hearing is scheduled to determine the amount of money to be paid to Brinks and Wells Fargo Inc.

On that day, Jimenez is expected to surrender to authorities and begin serving his jail sentence.

Jimenez stole $110,000 on Nov. 28, 2017, from an ATM in Newhall and then, on Dec. 1, 2017, burned the ATM to cover his theft.

Jimenez was arrested and then booked at the East Los Angeles Sheriff’s Station on felony charges of arson, grand theft and embezzlement.

He posted bond that same day and was released pending a future court appearance.

Jimenez was hired Dec. 14, 2017, and was employed as a cadet for less than two months when his alleged involvement in the incidents was discovered.

He started the Deputy Sheriff Training Academy on Dec.18, 2017.

He was in the initial phase of the 22-week academy when the discovery of his potential involvement in the crimes surfaced.

The LASD carries out an extensive background investigation on all applicants before they are hired for the position of deputy sheriff trainee, Capt. Darren Harris, who heads the LASD’s Information Bureau, said in March.

Very few of the total applicants, Harris said, less than 5 percent, successfully complete the extensive process and are selected to enter the training academy.

Based on the timeline, he said in March, it appears the crimes committed by Jimenez occurred between the time his background investigation concluded and his date of employment with the Department,.

The allegations of grand theft initially levelled against Jimenez conflict with the highest ethical and professional standards required for employment with the Sheriff’s Department, said Harris.

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