A 12-year veteran of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department was arrested Thursday for allegedly breaking into the home of a Yorba Linda resident following a death investigation call and stealing goods from the residence.

Deputy Steve Hortz was booked on suspicion of burglary, possession of an assault weapon, grand theft and possession of burglary tools. He was being held on $20,000 bail in the Santa Ana jail.

“He has embarrassed this profession,” Sheriff Don Barnes told reporters as he vowed to try to put Hortz on leave without pay.

Hortz was a “backup” deputy on a death investigation call to a house in Yorba Linda on July 27, Barnes said. Later that day, he returned in uniform and broke into the home of the deceased man in his 70s, then left a door open to return to the residence later, Barnes alleged.

Hortz returned to the house two more times in August and took two safes, two ceiling fans, a rifle case and a rifle, Barnes alleged.

A week ago, the deceased man’s family realized the goods were missing and called the sheriff’s department to report the thefts, Barnes said. On Wednesday night, an attorney for the family showed sheriff’s investigators home surveillance video that allegedly shows Hortz taking the property, Barnes said.

“It is not with pride I share this news with you today,” Barnes told reporters.

Deputies are scrutinizing other calls Hortz was on to see if he stole other property, Barnes said.

“I cannot tell you how disappointed I am,” the sheriff said. “I also want to apologize to the family of the deceased.”

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