SANTA MONICA—Eduardo Parraga, a 19-year veteran Santa Monica Police Officer, pled “No Contest” to the misdemeanor theft charges filed against him October 20. The judge found him guilty of the theft at the Los Angeles County Airport Courthouse.
The Santa Monica Police Department placed Parraga on administrative leave after they became aware of the theft in June.
The case went to the Santa Monica City Attorney’s Office. Parraga, 51, will need to complete 150 hours of community service, pay restitution to the victim, stay on a one-year probation period, and stay away from the 1200 block of the Third Street Promenade where the theft took place.
“The department understands the significance of upholding public trust and will remain committed to ensuring employees are held accountable for actions that are contrary to the community’s interest and mission of the Santa Monica Police Department,” SMPD Lt. Saul Rodriguez said.
Parraga remains on administrative leave and is under investigation with internal affairs.
“I think it is immoral because we expect them to be role models for everyone.” Commented Diana Gutierrez, a concerned Angeleno in an interview with Canyon News. “Especially if these officers are arresting people for stealing, how can anyone have respect for cops if they are committing the same crimes? With the pattern of police shootings that have gone into mainstream news I am beginning to lose my respect for officers even more.”
An anonymous retired police officer told Canyon News, “Officers should be held to a higher standard, however, you have bad seeds in every line of work.”