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CHP Officer Pleads Not Guilty To Stealing From Vacaville Store

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A CHP patrol car. (AP)

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VACAVILLE (CBS SF) — A California Highway Patrol officer pleaded not guilty Tuesday in Solano County Superior Court to stealing electronics from a Vacaville Target store earlier this month.

Shawn Hammonds, 36, of Vacaville, is charged with four counts of burglary with intent to commit grand or petty larceny. A preliminary hearing date will be set July 12.

Hammonds was on leave for a non-job-related injury at the time of the alleged thefts, a CHP official said.

Hammonds was arrested May 9 on suspicion of commercial burglary and posted $30,000 bail, Vacaville police Sgt. Jeff King said.

He is suspected of taking an Xbox game system and other expensive electronic equipment valued at $1,359 from the store at 3000 Harbison Drive on four occasions, King said.

Two of the alleged thefts, including that of the Xbox, occurred within a three-hour period on May 9, King said.

Hammonds allegedly left the store without paying for the Xbox around 4:15 p.m. that day, King said. A witness gave police Hammonds’ license plate number and he was later pulled over and arrested, King said.

“Investigators believe that Hammonds has sold stolen property over the Internet,” King said.

Hammonds has been a CHP officer for five years and worked in Sacramento in the Capitol Protection Section of the CHP’s Protective Services Division, the division’s assistant chief Pat Burnett said.

His duties included protecting Capitol grounds, surrounding buildings and employees who work there, Burnett said.

Hammonds had been on leave for his injury for four months, Burnett said.

“The allegations are very serious, and if they are true, they are very disappointing and embarrassing to the department and its employees,” Burnett said at the time of Hammonds’ arrest.

The CHP is conducting an administrative investigation in conjunction with the Vacaville police investigation, Burnett said.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services may have contributed to this report.)

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