Huntington Beach

HBPD cop charged with petty theft

A HUNTINGTON BEACH police officer will be arraigned on March 6 on a charge of petty theft.

A HUNTINGTON BEACH police officer will be arraigned on March 6 on a charge of petty theft.

A Huntington Beach police officer has been charged with stealing money donated for a retirement gift for colleague. According to the Orange County District Attorney’s office, Mario Ricci, 49, a resident of Los Angeles, was charged Thursday with one misdemeanor count of petty theft, which carries a maximum sentence of six months in county jail.

Ricci is scheduled to be arraigned on March 6 in the West Justice Center in Westminster.

According to the HBPD, the police department started the investigation and turned it over to the district attorney. Ricci has been placed on administrative leave and separate from legal action by the district attorney’s office, an internal investigation is being conducted.

Ricci is accused to stealing donations from other HBPD employees between Dec. 8 and 14, 2016, intended to go toward a gift for a retiree. On Dec. 8, according to the HBPD, it was noticed that money was missing from the envelope. On the next day, officers began an inquiry and documented the serial numbers and denominations on the bills in the envelope.

On Dec. 15, HBPD investigators approached Ricci as he was leaving the building and determined that he was in possession of the missing money.

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