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A former Fullerton police officer pleaded guilty Monday to stealing $24,000 by failing to make all but two loan payments and then selling the vehicle he had used for collateral.

Hugo Garcia, 34, was ordered to perform 100 hours of community service and pay restitution, according to court records. Felony charges of grand theft and grand theft by embezzlement by debtor of security agreement were reduced to misdemeanors, according to court records.

Prosecutors said Garcia received a loan for about $12,000 in October 2012, using his 2007 Chevrolet Tahoe as collateral. Garcia made two payments, then sold the Tahoe for $12,000 cash, according to Senior Deputy District Attorney Robert Mestman when charges were filed.

Garcia was attempting to “double dip,” according to Mestman.

The dealer he sold the Tahoe to was unaware of the loan and sold the vehicle to a customer, but it was repossessed, Mestman said.

The dealer repaid the customer, losing the cash and the Tahoe in the process, Mestman said.

–City News Service

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