Hidalgo County sheriff’s deputy fired for alleged theft

Hidalgo County Sheriff J.E. “Eddie” Guerra fired one of his deputies Tuesday following an internal investigation into an alleged shoplifting incident, the sheriff’s office announced Wednesday.

Ivan Tapia was terminated after Edinburg police cited him for theft, a class C misdemeanor, on April 14 while he was off-duty shopping at a local Walmart. Tapia was subsequently placed on administrative leave with pay pending an internal investigation.

Guerra, in a statement, said he was “extremely disappointed” and is “committed to preserving the public’s confidence and trust in the Hidalgo County Sheriff’s Office.”

“We will continue to investigate any and all allegations of employee misconduct, and I will take the necessary and appropriate actions to maintain accountability and transparency to you, the citizens we serve,” the statement continued.

Edinburg police could not be reached for comment on the theft case.

Tapia was hired by the sheriff’s office in 2012 as a jailer and was promoted to a deputy position in 2016, according to Texas Commission on Law Enforcement records.

Guerra most recently terminated a deputy last December for a similar reason.

Robert Sanchez Jr. was fired Dec. 26, 2018 after McAllen police arrested him on a class B misdemeanor theft charge for allegedly stealing from Walmart. The Hidalgo County District Attorney’s Office filed charges against Sanchez in February and he will be in court later next month for a pretrial hearing.