A criminal blast from a Walnut councilman’s past

In light of Robert Urteaga’s no contest plea to Grand Theft charges back in 1999, I got to thinking about a case that involved Walnut City Councilman Joaquin Lim back in 1997.

Lim was accused of petty theft after he allegedly left a grocery store without paying for $27 in groceries. Ultimately Lim testified in his own behalf and was acquitted in the case. Some of the original reporting is on the jump.

May 31, 1997


versions of

Lim incident

Guard says councilman

put items in grocery bag

By Bill Hetherman

Staff Writer

An undercover store security officer watched Walnut Councilman Joaquin Lim place $27 worth of food and merchandise into a plastic bag before leaving a Diamond Bar supermarket last month without paying for the items, court records state.

When questioned by the officer, Lim said he was “running into money problems, I’m sorry,” according to the documents obtained Friday.

Lim has pleaded innocent to a misdemeanor petty theft charge filed affter teh April 27 incident at Albertson’s Food and Drug Store.

Lim, a business teacher at the De Vry Institute of Technology, declined comment Friday on the report, which differs from his earlier account.

On the day of the incident, he said he had received two quick pages on his beeper and pushed his grocery cart outside the front door of the store to use a public telephone. He said he had intended to pay for the food by was stopped by security guards.


Among the items found in the bag were a $5.29 bottle fo mouthwash, a $1.69 bottle of Italian salad dressing, a $3.69 package of mackerel,a 99-cent soybean cake, and a $6 box of croissants, the report states.

Sept. 03, 1997

Jurors acquit Lim of Theft

Panel didn’t think councilman intended to shoplift items

By Bill Hetherman

Staff Writer

Joaquin Anthony Lim was acquited Tuesday by jorors who said they didn’t thik the Walnut councilman intended to steal $27 in groceries and merchandise from a Diamond Bar supermarket during an APril 24 shopping trip.

Lim, 46, folded his hands in a prayerlike position and smiled when he heard the Pomona Municipal Court jury of seven women and five men declared Lim not guilty of a misdemeanor charge of petty theft. The jury had deliberated for about an hour.

Later, outside court, the first-term councilman appeared to be almost in tears. He declined to coment, but his attorney Antonio BEstard, said Lim felt “relieved and vindicated.”


Lim testified in his own behalf.



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  • Jenny

    wow, what other stories can you dig up? awesome

  • Anthony

    Joaquin Lim has his own agenda and votes on items that make him look good. He should have been recalled because what does his stealing groceries say about his character. I wonder what he’s stealing from the citizens of Walnut!!!

  • Walnut News

    At the same time Lim is caught shoplifting per undercover store security, Lims’ former employer is pursing Lim because after LIM resigned from Charles Schwab & Co.in 1985 he continued to CASH PAYCHECKS MISTAKENLY SENT TO HIM FOR 21 MONTHS. When Schwab discovered the mistake, LIM REFUSED TO GIVE THE MONEY BACK, SO SCHWAB SUES AND THE FINDING STATES THE CONDUCT OF MR. LIM WAS WILLFUL AND DESPICABLE . . . [SCHWAB] ENTITLED TO AN AWARD OF PUNITIVE DAMAGES. JUDGMENT ENTERED AGAINST LIM FOR $113,848.50 ON 11/13/00, WHICH IS STILL OUTSTANDING AND ACCRUING INTEREST. (L.A. Superior Ct. Case # KS005989)
    I wonder if the jury would have still found it was an “unitentional” act if they knew about the 21 months of unearned checks Lim kept.