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A Los Angeles police officer was charged this week with stealing money from a worker at an unlicensed marijuana grow during a raid of the downtown facility earlier this year, prosecutors said Thursday.

Luis Alfredo Mota, 46, faces one count of second-degree burglary, a felony, and one misdemeanor count of petty theft, the L.A. County District Attorney’s Office said in a news release.

An arrest warrant was issued when the case was filed Tuesday, and Mota was taken into custody Thursday. His bail was set at $50,000 but he was cited out due to COVID-19 zero-bail rules, according to the DA’s office and L.A. Police Department.

Mota was first arrested Jan. 27 on suspicion of misdemeanor theft, after surveillance video implicated him in the theft reported by an employee during the raid, police said at the time.

The investigation began when the worker told an LAPD supervisor that cash was missing from her backpack. The supervisor secured the scene and ordered a review of video, which led officials to believe Mota was responsible, the department said.

He was arrested a short time later and released on his own recognizance that same day.

LAPD said Mota was stripped of his police badge, gun and ID as he was taken into custody. He has been assigned to home, pending the results of internal and criminal investigations.

The officer is scheduled to be arraigned on Jan. 25, 2021.

He could face up to three years in county jail if convicted on both counts, prosecutors said.

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By Arlene Huff

Arlene Huff is the founding member of Golden State Online. Before that She was a general assignment reporter. A native Californian, she graduated from the University of California with a degree in medical anthropology and global health. She currently lives in Los Angeles.

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