San Bernardino County sheriff’s deputy, Ricker Hunt, investigated for on-duty thefts

The San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department is investigating one of its deputies on allegations he took wallets, jewelry and other items from people he arrested.

Last week, detectives searched Deputy Ricker Hunt’s Apple Valley home, his truck and his locker at the sheriff’s Adelanto Detention Center, where he is assigned, according to an affidavit returned Thursday to San Bernardino County Superior Court.

Found were a baggie with metal jewelry, a box with coins and a bracelet, a digital camera, credit cards and identification belonging to two men cited or arrested last August, wrote sheriff’s Sgt. Chris Fisher.

In Fisher’s affidavit seeking the warrant, the same items are described as previously seen at the deputy’s home after he cleaned out his desk when reassigned from the Apple Valley station to the jail.

Hunt, 49, could not be reached for comment Thursday. The 24-year department veteran has not been arrested or charged.

Sgt. Dave Phelps, a sheriff’s spokesman, said Hunt is not currently working but did not release any further information.

According to the affidavit, the sheriff’s probe began May 19 after officials received a tip that Hunt was in possession of property belonging to people he contacted on patrol in Apple Valley.

In September 2008, someone found a wallet in Hunt’s home that belonged to a 28-year-old man he arrested eight months prior on suspicion of transporting marijuana and child endangerment, Fisher wrote. The wallet contained the man’s Social Security card and credit cards.

When someone confronted Hunt, he said, “He might have obtained (the) wallet accidentally,” Fisher wrote. It was returned to the sheriff’s property room, and there is no evidence any of the information or credit cards were ever used.

Earlier this year, a different wallet and identification holder were found at Hunt’s home, Fisher wrote. With them were the bag of men’s and women’s jewelry, silver coins and a Canon PowerShot digital camera.

Hunt arrested one of the men pictured on an identification card in his possession last August on suspicion of drunken driving, Fisher wrote. The vehicle was towed after the arrest, and the man told Fisher he didn’t report it because he assumed someone from the tow yard had stolen the items.

The other man whose wallet was recovered had been cited in Apple Valley for speeding, also last August, records show.

Reach Paul LaRocco at 951-368-9468 or plarocco@PE.com

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