A veteran Los Angeles Police Department officer who moonlighted as a
Surf and Sand security guard was sentenced today to jail and probation after copping to repeatedly stealing cash from the tony Laguna Beach resort.
Through a court deal, Jeffry Paul Quinton, pleaded guilty to two felonies and Judge Robert R. Fitzgerald sentenced the Anaheim Hills 47-year-old to 120 days behind bars and three years probation.
Prosecutors thought Quinton should remain in custody for a year, according to a statement from the Orange County District Attorney's office. The maximum penalty for the felonies the cop pleaded guilty to–grand theft
and commercial burglary–is more than three years in prison.
On Oct. 17, 2011, staff at the Surf and Sand, where rooms can go for more than $500 a night, recovered $2,000 from a hotel room, secured the money in a hotel safe and detailed the discovery on the resort's online “lost
and found” logging system. Quinton had access to that electronic system, and
the next day he changed the log to indicate the “$2,000” was instead a “gold watch,” that it was recovered from a different room number and that the watch had been
returned to its owner. He then stole $960 out of the safe.
The cop was not done giving himself unauthorized bonuses. On Dec. 26, 2011, he used tape to cover the surveillance camera lens in the
security office for several minutes as he stole $680 out of a safe deposit box there. Then, this past Jan. 24, Quinton disappeared from his shift for more than an hour as he ferried $290 in stolen bedding from a locked hotel storage room to his car.
The Laguna Beach Police Department investigated the final theft, reviewing surveillance video to discover the crime. Further probing uncovered the other thefts. A 21-year LAPD veteran, Quinton's been on paid administrative leave since his arrest.
Matt Coker has been engaging, enraging and entertaining readers of newspapers, magazines and websites for decades. He spent the first 13 years of his career in journalism at daily newspapers before “graduating” to OC Weekly in 1995 as the paper’s first calendar editor. He went on to be managing editor, executive editor and is now senior staff writer.