Huntington Beach Police Detective Charged With Stealing From Donations Collection for Retiring Colleague: DA

A Huntington Beach Police Department badge is seen in this file photo. (Credit: KTLA)

A Huntington Beach police detective stole money out of a collection of donations intended to buy a gift for a retiring colleague, prosecutors alleged Thursday.

Mario Ricci, 48, of Los Angeles, is accusing of stealing donations from an envelope during a weeklong period in December 2016, the Orange County District Attorney’s Office announced.

The day the collection started, other officers noticed money was missing. The next day, police began documenting the denominations and serial numbers of the bills collected. When Ricci was leaving several days later, he was found to be in possession of the bills that had been documented, the DA’s office said.

Ricci was a detective with the Huntington Beach Police Department at the time of the alleged theft, the DA’s office said.

It’s not clear if he’s still employed by the department. The city’s website lists him as an officer in the detective bureau.

Ricci has been charged with one misdemeanor count of petty theft. His arraignment is set for March 6 in Westminster.

He faces up to six months in county jail if convicted as charged.