Orange County District Attorney
Tony Rackauckas, District Attorney
401 Civic Center Drive West
Santa Ana, CA 92701
For Immediate Release
Susan Kang Schroeder
FORMER SECURITY GUARD TO BE ARRAIGNED FOR STEALING FROM TRINITY BROADCASTING DONATION BOX DURING LATE-NIGHT BREAK-INS
NEWPORT BEACH – A former security guard will be arraigned tomorrow for stealing from the donation box at Trinity Broadcasting Network (TBN) after breaking-in in the middle of the night. Robert Ellsworth Shorter Jr., 38, Garden Grove, is charged with nine felony counts of second degree commercial burglary and faces a maximum sentence of eight years and four months in state prison if convicted. Shorter is scheduled to be arraigned tomorrow, Thursday, Feb. 24, 2011, at 8:30 a.m. in Department H-2, Harbor Justice Center, Newport Beach.
In 2008, Shorter was fired from his job as a security guard for TBN in Costa Mesa for sleeping on the job. On nine occasions between July and September 2010, Shorter is accused of entering the secured TBN property late at night or early in the morning using a gate pass-code he obtained during his employment.
Once on the property, Shorter is accused of taking a roll-up door remote from the visor of unlocked security vehicles and using the remote to open the roll-up gift shop door. The donation box was also kept inside. Shorter is accused of stealing donations from the donation box by turning it upside down and shaking it to make the envelopes fall out. The financial loss to the victim is unknown.
On each of the nine occasions, Shorter is accused of being captured on video surveillance during the theft. He is accused of often wearing a blue t-shirt with “God is Good” written in white.
A TBN property manager reported the thefts to the Costa Mesa Police Department (CMPD) on Sept. 17, 2010, after recognizing the defendant in a surveillance video. Shorter was arrested at approximately 3:30 a.m. on Sept. 19, 2010, on the property of TBN by CMPD. The defendant is accused of wearing the blue shirt matching that seen in the surveillance video at the time of his arrest.
Deputy District Attorney Nikki Chambers is prosecuting this case.