Deputy Steals from Dead Man’s House

Deputy Steve Hortz with Orange County Sheriff's Office
Steve Hortz

Orange County Deputy Arrested

A deputy with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in Santa Ana, has been arrested for suspicion of burglary. Deputy Steve Hortz, a 12-year veteran with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department is accused of accessing the house of a 70- year old man who had died on July 20. Deputy Hortz had responded to the original call regarding the death, which was determined to be of natural causes, but while there, he left a door unlocked.

Video showed that Deputy Hortz then returned to the house on July 27. At that time he was in uniform and appeared to be on duty. The video does not clearly show if he took any items. However, Deputy Hortz returned again on August 10 and August 16 and both of those times he is clearly seen taking items from the residence. It does not appear he was on duty during the second and third incident, since he is wearing civilian clothes.

Family members noticed that some items were missing. After reviewing the home’s surveillance video, they contacted their attorney who, in turn, contacted the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.

Sheriff Don Barnes

According to Sheriff Don Barnes, “The suspected criminal actions of this deputy are a violation of public trust. This deputy will be held accountable through a swift and thorough process including a full criminal and internal administrative investigation.” To try to regain the public’s trust, the OCSD “said it was investigating prior calls Hortz handled to see if similar instances had occurred.”

None of the articles on Deputy Steve Hortz gave the exact charges that he was arrested for. All we’ve found out is “Hortz is facing three felony charges and one misdemeanor charge. He remained behind bars Thursday evening in lieu of $20,000 bond.”

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