In a widening investigation of the Los Angeles Police Department’s cadet program, Chief Charlie Beck on Sunday announced he has suspended training for cadets at the 77th Street Division and Pacific Division, where three cadets arrested on suspicion of stealing police cruisers were based, reports the Los Angeles Times.
The move is part of a "top-to-bottom" review of the citywide cadet program following revelations that besides the theft of three cruisers (used in two pursuits and crashes), the cadets may have also stolen other police equipment and posed as sworn officers. The suspensions are in effect pending the outcome of the investigation, officials said.
Two of the accused cadets were assigned to the 77th Street Division and the third to the Pacific Division, said Josh Rubenstein, LAPD public information director.
The teens, ages 15, 16, and 17, were not identified because they are minors. They were booked in connection with the theft of the cruisers and other LAPD property, Beck said. He added that all three were involved in the vehicle thefts but that it was not immediately clear which of them may have been involved in taking the other equipment, which reportedly included a bulletproof vest, two stun guns, and two police radios.
Investigators are trying to determine if other cadets were directly involved in the unauthorized use of LAPD patrol cars or knew of the thefts of the vehicles and other equipment.