A veteran Los Angeles police officer working in the jails has been arrested on suspicion of theft and fraud after a stolen debit card was used at a home improvement store.

Edmond Babaians, 42, who was assigned to the Custody Services Division, was booked on a felony warrant by the LAPD‘s internal affairs unit Tuesday.

A woman reported that her debit card was missing after she had been at a department facility. She told investigators several transactions had been made with the card, according to her bank statement, and she obtained security system photographs of a man using the card to make purchases at a home improvement store.

The woman turned over the images to LAPD investigators, who identified the theft suspect as Babaians, according to an LAPD statement.

LAPD Officer Edmond Babaians.


While the department did not describe the fraudulent purchases, a felony warrant generally means theft of more than $950.

“The allegations of an officer breaking public trust are extremely troubling, and there must be accountability,” LAPD Chief Michel Moore said in a statement revealing the arrest late Tuesday.

Los Angeles Mayor Karen Bass also emphasized the accountability of sworn officers.

“Our police officers must be held accountable to the highest standard,” she said in a statement. “I want to acknowledge and thank Chief Moore and LAPD leadership for swiftly taking action on this serious matter.”

She added that the Police Department’s integrity “is of the utmost importance, and we must continue to act with transparency and accountability to build trust with all Angelenos”

Babaians has worked as an LAPD officer for 16 years. He was booked in LAPD’s Valley Jail Section and later released on his own recognizance, a bail standard implemented by the Los Angeles County Superior Court for such an offense.

He was relieved of his police powers and was assigned to home pending the outcome of the LAPD’s administrative and criminal investigation.

Moore said the Police Department is cooperating with the L.A. County district attorney’s office, which will explore charges against the officer.