A Los Angeles Police Department officer moonlighting as a security guard at Laguna Beach’s Surf & Sand Resort pleaded not guilty to a felony count each of grand theft and commercial burglary on Wednesday.
Jeffry Paul Quinton, 48, of Anaheim Hills, who was represented by defense attorney Glenn Osajima, entered a plea in Newport Beach’s Harbor Justice Center for a felony count each of grand theft and commercial burglary, spokesperson Chris Kim said in a statement.
Quinton, who has 21 years of service with the Los Angeles Police Department, was assigned to Central Division. He was placed on administrative leave by the department pending the outcome of both the criminal and administrative investigations, said a department statement released Wednesday.
Laguna Beach police set up surveillance cameras within the hotel after its staff reported irregularities that began in October. Quinton was arrested on Jan. 24, Lt. Jason Kravetz said.
In his part-time security job for the hotel, Quinton was entrusted with access to an online lost and found system, which he is suspected of looting, said Chris Kim in a statement released by the district attorney’s
In addition, Quinton allegedly covered surveillance cameras in the hotel security office with tape and stole $680 in cash from an office safe, the statement said.
When police arrested Quinton on Jan. 24, he had disappeared for over an hour during his shift, including from surveillance cameras police were monitoring from a spare hotel room, stealing $290 in bedding from a locked hotel storage room, and storing the items in his car. Detectives who went to Quinton’s home after the arrest seized more property, Kravetz said.
Hotel staff aided the investigation. “We wanted to make sure we had a really solid case,” said Kravetz, who pointed out that most Orange County law enforcement agencies prohibit sworn officers from moonlighting in security posts or jobs involving alcohol. In Los Angeles County, officers have a long history of moonlighting as security for celebrities, he pointed out.
In October, Quinton allegedly stole cash that had been recovered from a room and secured in the hotel’s lost and found by accessing the online system and changing the cash entry into a “gold watch.” He is suspected of changing the room number where the $2,000 in cash had been found and falsely logging that the watch was returned to its owner, stealing $960 from the safe, Kim’s statement said.
Depty. District Attorney Andrew Katz is prosecuting Quinton.