Former Deputy Constable Bobby Joe Espinosa of the Harris County Precinct 4 was fired and arrested for stealing thousands of dollars from four Vietnamese businesses in Houston while in uniform.
Espinosa, 39, was accused of stealing a total of $5,700 between September 2021 and March 2022.
The former deputy constable used his authority as a law enforcement officer to get customers at the Vietnamese establishments to leave before coercing employees to open cash registers and remove money from tip jars.
Espinosa, who spent seven and a half years with Precinct 4, was also accused of unplugging surveillance cameras and prying open game machines at the different locations for cash.
The father of six was arrested on April 15 and charged with felony theft. Espinosa faced a judge in probable cause court on April 16. He was released after posting a $30,000 bond on Sunday.
His conditions include a curfew set at 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. every day. He is also prohibited from possessing a firearm and being in contact with his victims.
“(Espinosa) used his authority as an officer as a threat. A huge betrayal of the public who he is sworn to protect,” the judge stated
“Every one of us who puts on this uniform wants to maintain the pride in our agency and our profession and we can only do that by fully investigating any allegations of wrongdoing,” Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said in a statement. “These allegations against ex-deputy Bobby Espinosa are no different and are receiving the full attention of my office in collaboration with the Harris County Sheriff’s office.”
“Once we were made aware of these allegations, my office, along with investigators with the Harris County Sheriff’s Office, worked together culminating in my office placing ex-deputy Bobby Espinosa into custody, and transferring him to the investigators,” he added. “I am sincerely grateful for the citizens who joined with us to provide critical tips and information in this investigation.”