ORANGE COUNTY, Calif. - A Los Angeles Police Department officer accused of stealing a truck from a car dealership and then tampering with the department's investigation is facing felony charges.
According to Orange County District DA Todd Spitzer's office, 45-year-old Matthew Calleros pleaded not guilty Monday to one felony count of unlawful taking of a vehicle, one felony count of forging of a license plate and one felony count of false personation. Calleros is also charged with three misdemeanor counts of unauthorized disclosure of information from the Department of Motor Vehicle records.
Back in October of 2019, Calleros allegedly went into B & J Car Company in Orange and then drove off in a 2015 Chevrolet Silverado after he asked the dealer to pull the CarFax on the truck, according to Spitzer's office.
Calleros is then accused of using another LAPD officer's ID to call into the department's Vehicle Warrant Unit to report the stolen truck has been recovered. The embattled officer is also accused of accessing the California Law Enforcement Telecommunications System (CLETS) to "run multiple checks on the vehicle’s license plate number and different license plate number belonging to a 2014 model Chevy Silverado which he put on the stolen vehicle."
Calleros was arrested in November 2020 after the stolen truck was spotted in LAPD's employee parking lot.
"The badge is pinned over the heart of every law enforcement officer for a reason," Spitzer said in a press release. "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. Every time an officer’s actions erodes the public trust, it undermines the rule of law."
LAPD released a statement on Monday saying Calleros is "currently being assigned to home and relieved of his police powers, pending the outcome of an administrative investigation."
Below is a full press release from Spitzer's office: