Ventura County – In March, 2014, managers of Ventura County’s Gold Coast Transit—an Oxnard-based public transportation joint powers agency operating under the aegis of The State of California–became suspicious of an unexplained trend in declining rider fares and quietly began investigating any possible causes. Gold Coast General Manager Steve Brown reported that “we discovered the apparent shortage of fare box revenues while reconciling…data from our new fare box system.”
What Brown’s team discovered flew in the face of any notions of “public service”, as they became suspicious of the activities of four trusted transit company employees. According to an announcement to the media by Ventura County Deputy District Attorney Taylor Waters, law enforcement identified Antonio Maldonado Chavez, 51, Jorge Garibay Alvarado, 37, Jonathan Trujillo, 45, and Anthony David Cribbs, 44, as suspects of the theft of funds in excess of $8,000 from bus fare boxes.
Waters reported that Chavez and Alvarado had been employed as “bus maintenance workers whose duties included transferring cash from the vehicles to the cash depository.” Trujillo and Cribbs, both bus mechanics under the employ of Gold Coast, were complicit in the thievery, but were apparently not the principal perpetrators, as they were charged only with multiple misdemeanor petty thefts. Chavez and Alvarado, on the other hand, were taken into custody charged with multiple felony counts of misappropriating public funds. If convicted, Waters said, Alvarado “faces up to six years in state prison” while Chavez “faces up to nine years in state prison” upon conviction of all the charges facing him.
Arraignment for the light-fingered quartet is scheduled for December 30th in Ventura County Superior Court.
Pacific Coast Business Times: Four face charges for filched bus fares