Former boss of deputy accused of theft while wearing police uniform speaks out

HOUSTON, Texas (KTRK) -- Three days after Bobby Joe Espinosa was fired from his job as a Harris County Precinct 4 Deputy Constable and charged with theft by a public servant, his former boss is speaking. Espinosa is accused of stealing large amounts of cash from victims while donning his official uniform.

Espinosa allegedly stole $5,700 from four different Vietnamese businesses between September 2021 and March 2022, according to HCSO.

Investigators say he would wear his Precinct 4 uniform during the robberies and disconnect security cameras before forcing employees to take money out of the cash register and tip jar.

Court documents say Espinosa demanded an employee to open a door she did not have access to, so he kicked the door in and pried open game machines at multiple locations.

On Monday, Pct. 4 Constable Mike Herman released a statement in response to Espinosa's charges:

"Every one of us who puts on this uniform wants to maintain the pride in our agency and our profession and we can only do that by fully investigating any allegations of wrongdoing. These allegations against ex-deputy Bobby Espinosa are no different and are receiving the full attention of my office in collaboration with the Harris County Sheriff's office."

"Once we were made aware of these allegations my office along with investigators with the Harris County Sheriff's office worked together, culminating in my office placing ex-deputy Bobby Espinosa into custody, and transferring him to the investigators. I am sincerely grateful for the citizens who joined with us to provide critical tips and information in this investigation."

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The former deputy allegedly disconnected security cameras before forcing employees to take money out of the cash register and tip jar.



When looking into Espinosa's criminal history, ABC13 found six mugshots for prior arrests through DPS recorded from 2007 and 2015. The Harris County District Attorney's Office said one of those mugshots was from an arrest in Harris County for driving with a suspended license in 2003.

WATCH ORIGINAL REPORT:Former Harris Co. Pct. 4 Deputy Constable accused of robbing Vietnamese businesses while in uniform
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The former deputy allegedly disconnected security cameras before forcing employees to take money out of the cash register and tip jar.



Additionally, the DA's office said he was arrested four other times in Harris County between 2001 and 2008 for multiple driving violations, such as failure to pay parking tickets or failure to appear.

As for the remaining five arrests recorded by DPS between 2007 and 2015, there are no records detailing those charges or where they took place. As of Monday evening, DPS has not returned ABC13's requests for clarification.

ABC13 asked Pct. 4 Mark Herman about Espinosa's prior arrests over the phone, but he said he was out of town and was unable to provide details on Monday. However, he said Espinosa was cleared and met the minimum requirements to be hired with Pct. 4 in 2015.

Espinosa made his first appearance in court last Saturday where his bond was set at $30,000.

After Espinosa made bail that night, ABC13's Daniela Hurtado approached him for comment outside the courthouse. He did not answer any questions and proceeded to cover his face.

ABC13 asked the Harris County District Attorney's office if Espinosa's charges could be upgraded from theft of a public servant to robbery. They said they will leave that up to the Grand Jury.

Espinosa is expected in court on June 23.

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