SAN FRANCISCO—Former San Francisco Police Officer Ricci Joseph Rodriguez, 56, of San Bruno, was arrested on Friday, September 4, for three counts of embezzlement, two counts of grand theft, and one count of vehicle theft.
In February, Rodriguez had resigned from the San Francisco Police Department after serving the police force for over three decades. According to SFPD Spokesman Albie Esparza, Rodriguez had allegedly resigned after an internal investigation began surrounding a tip about Rodriguez’s unethical and illegal use of San Francisco’s vehicle resources. The initial investigation also covered accusations that Rodriguez had taken kickbacks for steering business to a local towing company.
A thorough investigation took place through SFPD’s internal affairs division, where satellite images collected from Google Maps played an important role in identifying Rodriguez’s geographic location whereabouts.
A Google Maps street view image showed proof of the station’s vehicle outside of Rodriguez’s home in January and August of 2014. The vehicle’s gas chip had also indicated that Rodriguez had used about $4,938.20 worth of gasoline intended only for city-owned cars. An estimated amount of $8,867.03 had also been spent on maintenance and services performed by mechanics employed by San Francisco. Evidence was submitted to the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office.
In a statement made by SFPD Police Chief Greg Suhr, Suhr stated that “the public’s trust [means] everything to us. The men and women of the SFPD work hard to build and maintain the trust of our community and to keep this great city safe. There is no place in the SFPD for a dishonest officer.”
Rodriguez was booked into San Francisco’s county jail after the DA’s office sought a warrant for Rodriguez’s arrest. Rodriguez has been released on $30,000 bail.