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Prosecutors: Ex-SRJC police officer took $287,000

  • Jeffrey Holzworth

A former Santa Rosa Junior College police officer who managed campus parking meters pocketed nearly $300,000 in coins and small bills over an eight-year period, prosecutors said Wednesday.

The total was released as Jeffrey Holzworth, 51, was arraigned on 12 felony counts, including embezzlement and possession of stolen property.

Holzworth, who has been free on bail, postponed entering a plea to give his lawyer, Joe Passalacqua, time to go over the charges.

Holzworth and his wife, Karen, 49, who is charged with being an accessory, were ordered back to court Feb. 20 to either admit or deny the allegations.

Outside court Wednesday, prosecutor Amy Ariyoshi said detectives had tabulated the total loss at $287,911. The thefts, which allegedly took place from January 2005 to November 2012, consisted of coins and bills in small denominations, she said.

"It was all change and whatever currency the machines took," she said.

Little or none of the money was recovered, she said.

The Holzworths were suspected of spending it on living expenses and on at least one trip to Las Vegas.

The 28-year officer is suspected of taking the money while supervising campus parking meters. His wife is accused of transporting it to banks and exchanging it for larger bills, prosecutors said.

If convicted, Jeffrey Holzworth faces more than 10 years in state prison. Karen Holzworth could receive county jail time.

The case emerged this fall when another officer came forward, saying he had spotted Jeffrey Holzworth with change and cash. In one instance, an officer said he spotted Holzworth emptying a machine on a weekend just before a trip to Las Vegas.

Holzworth's lawyer declined to comment on the charges Wednesday as the couple left the courtroom.

You can reach Staff Writer Paul Payne at 568-5312 or paul.payne@pressdemocrat.com.

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