Pasadena parole agent suspected of stealing from parolee

Police arrested a Pasadena parole agent on suspicion of stealing nearly $3,000 from a Monrovia parolee’s bank account, authorities said Thursday.
Robert Earl Wilson, 52, of Chino Hills was booked Wednesday afternoon on suspicion of grand theft, Pasadena police Lt. Tracey Ibarra said.
The alleged victim, Elaine Balles, 59, of Monrovia, was on parole at the time of the theft, Ibarra said
“He removed funds from a bank account without authorization of the victim,” the lieutenant said. The alleged thefts took place between February and May.
Balles was not being supervised by Wilson, Ibarra said.
Police said Balles had come to trust Wilson through their interactions at the Pasadena parole office, 333. E. Walnut Street. She provided him with her bank account information so that he could access her account if she became incarcerated, Ibarra said.
Balles was arrested in March by Monrovia police officers on a parole violation following a 2004 burglary conviction, according to court documents. A judge sentenced her to 180 days in jail and she was released on May 18, according to the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.
“She had trust that he would be a responsible individual,” the lieutenant added. “Unfortunately, he then utilized that info to get funds for himself.”
Police arrested Wilson about 1 p.m. Wednesday at the Pasadena parole office.
Balles could not be reached for comment Thursday.
Maria Franco, a spokeswoman for the state Department of Corrections, said Wilson had been with the the agency for more than 20 years.
“There’s no comment because it’s an ongoing investigation,” Franco said. “That would impede an investigation.”
Once Pasadena police complete their criminal investigation, the state will conduct its own administrative probe, Franco said.
“Anything involving a peace officer we take very seriously,” she said.
Wilson was placed on administrative leave during the investigation, Franco said.
The parole agent was released Wednesday after posting $20,000 bail, according to sheriff’s booking records.
Police said he was due in Pasadena Superior Court for arraignment on Aug. 27.
Balles has an extensive criminal record that dates back to the mid-1980s. She has been convicted of drug possession, petty theft, forgery, child endangerment, burglary and elder abuse.
There were no indications Thursday that anyone else had been victimized by Wilson, Ibarra said.
“We do not have any additional victims, nor any prior allegations of similar conduct,” she said.

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