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City Worker Held in Theft of Tires

LAPD is investigating whether others may have stolen parts from maintenance garages. A whistle-blower tipped off authorities.

October 18, 2003|Patrick McGreevy | Times Staff Writer

Following the arrest of a Los Angeles city employee on suspicion of stealing tires from a city maintenance garage, LAPD detectives are investigating whether other city workers have been involved in similar thefts, officials said Friday.

William Jackson, 54, of Gardena resigned this week from his position as a supervisor at the city's 7th Street tire maintenance facility.

He was arrested Aug. 27 in Fontana after police officers who had him under surveillance allegedly watched him deliver a load of 44 city truck tires, worth $17,000, to a private business.

A businessman at the address was arrested on suspicion of receiving stolen property, officials said.

Det. Gilbert M. Escontrias said charges had not been filed by the district attorney's office because the investigation was continuing: He was going through city records from the last two years to determine whether other tires had been stolen."I have to go through a lot of papers to see how deep this thing goes," Escontrias said.

He said Los Angeles Police Department officers were interviewing all of the other employees at the 7th Street facility Friday.

Jackson, who had worked for the city for 10 years, resigned Tuesday before a Civil Service hearing could be concluded. He could not be reached for comment Friday.

A whistle-blower in the city General Services Department tipped authorities off about Jackson, said Alvin Blaine, the city's head of fleet services.

"Because he was a supervisor, he had authority to check tires out for employees to install," Blaine said. "At this point, we don't believe anybody else is involved."

Since the arrest, the department has overhauled its procedures for dispersing vehicle parts at maintenance shops so that two supervisors are now required to sign each request, and another supervisor does spot checks on the inventory and records once a week.

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