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LAPD officer pleads not guilty to theft at cannabis grow house

A not guilty plea was entered Monday on behalf of a Los Angeles police officer charged with stealing money from a backpack at an illegal marijuana grow facility.

Luis Alfredo Mota, 47, is facing one felony count of second-degree burglary and one misdemeanor count of petty theft. His next court date is March 10, when a date is expected to be scheduled for a preliminary hearing if a plea deal has not been reached.

Mota was on duty and helping to serve a search warrant at a warehouse in downtown Los Angeles when he allegedly stole money from an employee’s backpack on Jan. 27, 2020, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

In a statement issued a day later, the Los Angeles Police Department said the worker notified an LAPD supervisor that money was missing from her personal backpack and that a review of closed-circuit cameras led investigators to “believe Officer Mota had taken cash from the worker’s backpack.”

Mota’s badge, gun and department ID were removed as he was taken into custody, and the department’s Internal Affairs Group was notified, according to the LAPD statement, which said he had been assigned to home pending the outcome of the administrative and criminal investigations.

“No employee of this department is above the law, and we will not tolerate any individual who betrays the public’s trust through this type of behavior,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in the statement released last January.

Mota, who was released on his own recognizance, could face up to three years in county jail if convicted as charged.

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Published: March 01, 2021

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