Orange County probation officer charged with stealing money while executing search warrants

Rodriguez was assisting the team in serving a search warrant at a home on Edinger Avenue in Santa Ana and, prosecutors now say, stole $150 from a victim's wallet while checking for the person's identification.

November 30, 2017

ANTA ANA — An Orange County probation officer faces charges because he is suspected of stealing cash while executing search warrants, authorities said.

Juan Rodriguez's booking photo. (Courtesy of the Orange County District Attorney's Office)

Juan Manuel Rodriguez, 46, was charged this week with one felony count of grand theft and two misdemeanor counts of petty theft.

Prosecutors said Rodriguez was employed as a probation officer assigned to the Orange County Sheriff's Department's Tactical Apprehension Team when the crimes were suspected to have occurred.

In August, Rodriguez was assisting the team in serving a search warrant at a home on Edinger Avenue in Santa Ana and, prosecutors now say, stole $150 from a victim's wallet while checking for the person's identification.

The victim reported the missing money to a sergeant at the scene, authorities said.

Two days later, sheriff's investigators set up a bait car with a hidden video camera and $1,200 in cash.

Rodriguez, while participating in serving another search warrant, searched the car and stole $1,000 of it, prosecutors said, while only reporting some of the money found in the car. Authorities later found the money in his wallet, prosecutors said.

Jennifer Palmquist, a spokeswoman for the county probation department, said Rodriguez is an employee but now on administrative leave.

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