Ex-deputy charged with stealing guns from house of man he found dead
KTLA / Orange County
Steve Hortz is charged with three felony counts of second-degree burglary and two felony counts of grand theft of a firearm.

By Erika Martin, KTLA

YORBA LINDA, Calif. (KTLA) -- A 42-year-old man has been charged with breaking into the home of a deceased Yorba Linda man while on duty as an Orange County sheriff’s deputy, and later returning to steal 15 guns, prosecutors said Thursday.

Steve Hortz learned the man was deceased after performing a welfare check at the residence on Via Angelina Drive on July 20, along with two other sheriff’s employees, the O.C. District Attorney’s Office said in a news release. It was later determined that the man in his 70s died from natural causes.

Following the welfare check, Hortz -- a 12-year veteran of the force -- was captured on security cameras returning to the home three times, including once when he broke in while on duty and in uniform, the DA’s office said.

The DA’s office says Hortz took a total of 15 firearms. Sheriff’s detectives said other goods stolen included ceiling fans and weapons safes.

Hortz was arrested in the case Sept. 10. He resigned in lieu of termination effective Sept. 30, prosecutors said. He faces three felony counts of second-degree burglary and two felony counts of grand theft of a firearm.

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