Former Kenner police officer Jan Michael Gregory was arrested Friday (March 10) for allegedly stealing money and wallets belonging to Hispanic men Gregory had arrested during traffic stops. (Kenner Police Department)
A former Kenner police officer was arrested Friday (March 10) for allegedly stealing money and wallets belonging to Hispanic men the officer had arrested during traffic stops.
Jan Michael Gregory, 32, will be charged with five counts of malfeasance in office, two counts of felony theft and three counts of misdemeanor theft, the Kenner Police Department said.
Kenner police initiated their investigation into Gregory in February, while he was still employed by the department. He resigned Feb. 22, immediately after being confronted with evidence that he had stolen money from Hispanic men he arrested for driving without a license.
A subsequent search of a gym bag inside Gregory’s police vehicle revealed two wallets that were later linked to Hispanic men he had arrested. Detectives later identified five Hispanic men Gregory arrested between Dec. 19, 2016 and Feb. 5, 2017, all of whom reported Gregory stole their money and wallets after pulling them over, police said.
The Kenner Police Department hired Gregory on Sept. 19, 2012. He graduated from the ninth Kenner Police Department P.O.S.T. Academy in January 2013, after which he was assigned ot the patrol division.
Gregory remained in custody Friday. No bond had been set.
This is not the first time a police officers in the New Orleans area has been arrested for stealing money from Hispanic motorists while on duty.
In July 2008, then-Slidell Police officer Jonathan Lutman was arrested by members of his own department after an internal investigation found that he had stolen as much as $3,000 from Spanish-speaking motorists.
In Lutman’s case, police said he repeatedly pulled over Hispanics and demanded they hand him their wallets, which he emptied of cash before handing them back.
Lutman, then 26, later admitted to 12 counts of malfeasance in office. Judge Peter Garcia initially sentenced him to five years in prison, but Garcia later suspended that sentence, ordering five years of probation instead plus a $2,940 restitution and 200 hours of community service. The sentence drew sharp criticism.