A 78-year-old Canyon Lake man suspected of stealing thousands of dollars from the nonprofit for which he served as treasurer was free Thursday on a $10,000 bond.

Robert Miller Templeton was arrested and booked into the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta Wednesday on suspicion of embezzlement, grand theft and filing false financial statements. He was released within a few hours.

According to Riverside County sheriff’s Sgt. Julio Olguin, between January 2017 and December 2019, Templeton worked as treasurer for the Canyon Lake Travel Club, which arranges tours for seniors.

Last summer, irregularities in the books prompted members to contact law enforcement, culminating in an investigation by detectives from the sheriff’s Lake Elsinore station, Olguin said.

“During this lengthy and complex investigation, (it was) revealed Templeton … diverted club funds into his personal bank account,” the sergeant said.

He alleged 56 fraudulent funds transfers were identified, with club losses totaling $24,000.

Templeton was questioned by investigators and taken into custody without incident at the sheriff’s station.

He has no documented prior felony convictions in Riverside County.

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