Remember the disgraced former Orange County Sheriff’s Department deputy, Steve Hortz, who got caught stealing from dead victims? The 43-year-old crooked deputy from San Dimas pleaded guilty but his sentence was on the light side.
Hortz was sentenced to four months in jail for stealing the credit cards of dead victims he came across while on the job. He was placed on two years of formal probation and must report to jail by June 3.
Hortz pleaded guilty on Feb. 22 to single felony counts of burglary and grand theft and single misdemeanor counts each of burglary, identity theft and grand theft by embezzlement.
Hortz stole three credit cards from a woman in Yorba Linda after he conducted a welfare check on August 19, 2020 and found her dead inside her home. Hortz ended up using the stolen cards to make thousands of dollars worth of unauthorized online purchases. Fortunately most of the purchases were declined. He was charged with those crimes back in September.
Hortz did something similar a month prior when he responded to a home on Via Angelina Drive in Yorba Linda to conduct another welfare check. The man who owned that home was found dead inside from what was later determined to be natural causes.
Hortz ended up retuning to the man’s house, including once while on duty and in uniform, to steal $27,000 worth of guns and other items. But his actions were recorded by surveillance cameras.
The probate attorney handling the dead man’s estate called the OC Sheriff’s department to report that a law enforcement officer may have stolen items from the home. They began an investigation and he was arrested on Sept. 10, 2020. He later resigned from the department in lieu of termination effective Sept. 30, 2020.
If a resident who was not a law enforcement officer did the same things that Hortz was convicted of how much time would he end up spending in prison?