A city cop has been accused of pocketing nearly $7,000 by cashing two stolen checks, officials said Friday.
Officer Gerardo Laera, 24, was working extra shifts at a Queens paint store when he pinched two checks from a real estate firm the store shares space with, prosecutors said.
Laera allegedly stole a check around Sept. 30 that the owner of Douglaston Development Corporation had written to “cash” for $2,000 and stashed in his desk. The firm shares a hallway with Clearview Paint Supply on Francis Lewis Blvd. in Bayside, where Laera was working.
The owner reported the check stolen and Laera was caught on surveillance footage depositing it at a Chase Bank ATM, prosecutors charge.
Laera went on to cash a $5,000 check at a check-cashing store on Roosevelt Ave. on Oct. 30, officials said. That check was drawn from a closed account of the real estate company and also made out to “cash.”
Laera presented his NYPD shield, along with his driver’s license, to convince the store’s manager to cash the check, officials said.
NYPD Internal Affairs officers learned of the alleged theft and launched an investigation.
Laera, who faces an automatic 30-day suspension without pay for being arrested, resigned from the NYPD Friday, officials said. He worked out of the 81st Precinct stationhouse in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn.
“As a police officer, the defendant was hired to uphold the law,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in a statement.
“It is alleged that he threw away a promising career in law enforcement by knowingly cashing two checks that had been stolen.”
Laera is charged with grand larceny and criminal possession of a forged instrument. If convicted, he faces up to seven years in prison.
He was awaiting arraignment Friday night.
9 Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be delivered from the power of evil!
5 If thieves came to thee, if robbers by night, (how art thou cut off!) would they not have stolen till they had enough? if the grapegatherers came to thee, would they not leave some grapes?