A California sheriff's deputy has been arrested after allegedly burglarizing the home of a recently deceased elderly man. Steve Hortz, who has been with the Orange County Sheriff's Department for 12 years, was the backup deputy on a July 20 call to the home of a man in his 70s who died of natural causes.
Nearly two months later, the man's family noticed several things were missing from the home and reviewed surveillance camera footage, which reportedly showed Hortz entering the house on multiple occasions. They immediately contacted the police and turned over the video footage.
Officials said that one week after responding to call, Hortz showed up to the man's house in his uniform. He was captured by a surveillance camera walking through the backyard and breaking into the unoccupied home. He returned the house two more times wearing civilian clothing and is accused of stealing gun safes, ceiling fans, and boxes of other items from the house.
Hortz was booked into the Santa Ana Jail on suspicion of burglary and has been placed on administrative leave. He is facing three felony charges and one misdemeanor charge. Investigators are looking into other calls that Hortz has been on to see if he was involved in similar incidents.
Orange County Sheriff Don Barnes blasted Hortz and promised that he "will be held accountable through a swift and thorough process."
"He does not deserve to work in this profession anymore," Barnes said. "He's embarrassed this profession. He's embarrassed this organization. and he's embarrassed the almost 4,000 members who do good work every day."
Photo: Orange County Sheriff's Department