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Former Colusa Police Department Lt., Elden Tamez, pleaded not guilty last week to felony theft charges in connection to a wallet and money the District Attorney’s Office said was taken from evidence in a murder investigation.
Tamez also pleaded not guilty in connection to the alleged theft of a Sig Sauer P220 semi-automatic handgun, a Sig Sauer P228, and a Smith and Wesson .38 special revolver from the Colusa Police Department.
Tamez was in Colusa County Superior Court on March 4 to enter his plea on the charges.
Tamez was arrested on Jan. 28, after investigators from the Colusa County District Attorney’s Office and Yuba City Police Department searched his Yuba City apartment on a warrant.
According to court records, the wallet and missing money found in a hall closet in Tamez’ home belonged to murder victim Karen Garcia, who was bludgeoned to death in her Colusa apartment on Jan. 8, 2018.
At the time of his most recent arrest, Tamez was out of jail on bond after being arrested in December on suspicion of taking $12,800 from the Colusa K9 fund and the Colusa Police Officers Association.
A Yolo County criminal investigator, who audited the accounts, discovered 34 unauthorized cash withdrawals from the K9 account between Oct. 26, 2018, and Oct. 16, 2019, totaling $8,860, and 16 unauthorized cash withdrawals from the Peace Officers Association, during the same time period, totaling $3,940, court records indicate.
Tamez resigned from his position as lieutenant on Oct. 17 after the theft was discovered, officials said.
Tamez is scheduled to appear in court today for the setting of preliminary hearings in both cases. ■