Ex-Irwindale police officer pleads ‘no contest’ to stealing father’s life savings

A former Irwindale police officer accused of stealing his 89-year-old father’s life savings of $250,000 is expected to serve a year in jail after pleading “no contest” Tuesday to a charge of grand theft, authorities said.
Dennis Alva, 48, became a convicted felon after pleading no contest in Los Angeles Superior Court to a single count of grand theft, Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office spokeswoman Jean Guccione said.
Alva’s father, Jess Alva, said the fact that the thief was his own flesh and blood made the process difficult.
“The worst part is, him and I were so close. We used to have breakfast at least two or three times a week,” Jess Alva said. The father added he had not spoken to his son since his arrest.
“I never thought he would do such as thing. He probably thought I was senile or something.”
Guccione said Alva pleaded no contest as part of a plea agreement.
“He’s going to surrender for jail time on Nov. 18 (at sentencing),” she said.
Alva was expected be sentenced to one year in county jail, along with five years of formal probation,” Guccione said. He was also ordered to pay $250,000 in restitution to his father.
As part of the plea agreement, additional counts of second-degree burglary and elder abuse were dismissed, officials said.
If convicted on all charges, Alva could have faced up to four years behind bars.
Irwindale Interim Police Chief Roy Campos said he was glad that justice was taking it’s course, but had no further comment regarding the case.
“He’s no longer a member of our department,” Campos said. Alva left the Irwindale Police Department within the past month, however Campos said employment privacy laws prevented him from saying whether the officer was terminated or resigned.
The theft took place over several years, investigators said. The money was not recovered, and it was unclear what Alva spent it on.
Alva’s father first reported the theft to police in his hometown of Azusa in January, “When he discovered that the cash he had hidden throughout his garage was missing,” according to a statement issued by the District Attorney’s Office.
Alva was first arrested in April after the case was presented to the District Attorney’s Office Justice System Integrity Division.
Alva is one of three Irwindale police officers who are currently being scrutinized in criminal investigations.
Former Irwindale police Sgt. David Fraijo is the subject of a criminal investigation and a civil rights lawsuit after a woman alleged the sergeant sexually assaulter her during a traffic stop.
Another Irwindale officer, Daniel Camerano, has been placed on administrative leave as internal investigators and sheriff’s investigators looked into an allegation of inappropriate relationship with Explorer Scouts. Further information was not available.

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