Los Angeles police officer charged with stealing truck

A Los Angeles police officer has been charged with stealing a truck from an Orange County dealership and using it for more a year, including driving it to work, authorities said Monday.

Matthew Calleros, 45, of Whittier was arrested last November at the LAPD’s Hollenbeck Division and the stolen truck was in the employee parking lot, according to a statement from the Orange County district attorney’s office.

He pleaded not guilty Monday to three felony charges, including unlawfully taking a vehicle, and three misdemeanors.

Prosecutors alleged that in October 2019, Calleros went to a dealership in Orange and drove off in a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado.

Calleros then used another police officer’s identification to call the LAPD’s Vehicle Warrant Unit to report the stolen truck had been recovered, prosecutors contend.

He also used the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System to link a license plate number belonging to a different Silverado to the stolen truck, according to prosecutors.

Calleros was arrested after a nearly year-long investigation by the LAPD and the Orange Police Department.

He was released without bail pending an April court hearing and could face nearly 4 1/2 years in state prison if convicted.

“The badge is pinned over the heart of every law enforcement officer for a reason,” Orange County District Attorney Todd Spitzer said in the statement. “It is a symbol of public faith in the job every officer has sworn to do and the laws they are sworn to uphold. When law enforcement officers use their training and law enforcement resources to victimize the very people they are sworn to protect, it tarnishes the badge of every law enforcement officer.”