Jeffry Quinton, 48, was moonlighting as a security guard at the Surf & Sand Resort, where prosecutors say he used his access to an online lost-and-found system to manipulate files and steal money and expensive bedding.
"They notified us they suspected one of their employees, a security guard, was stealing money from the lock boxes in the office," said Lt. Jason Kravetz of the Laguna Beach Police Department.
The alleged thefts came to light after a hotel guest left behind $2,000 in a room. The money was logged into the hotel's lost-and-found system.
"Mr. Quinton is accused of changing that log into a watch and then taking some of the money from it, and saying the watch was recovered by the guest," said Susan Schroeder, the Orange County District Attorney's Office chief of staff.
That was in October 2011, when Quinton was accused of taking $960 from the hotel's safety deposit box. On Dec. 26, 2011, he allegedly took another $680. In Jan. 24, 2012, investigators said he was caught stealing $290 worth of bedding.
Detectives said they installed hidden cameras after they realized Quinton had been taping over surveillance cameras in his office to avoid being detected.
"Our Detectives were actually in a hotel room at the Surf & Sand and they were watching monitors because secret cameras had been set up around his office area to monitor what he was doing that day," Kravetz said.
Quinton is a 21-year veteran of the LAPD. He has been placed on administrative leave.
He is charged with felony grand theft and commercial burglary. If convicted, he could face up to three years behind bars.