CA: SamTrans Workers Charged with Stealing Money from Caltrain Ticket Machines

REDWOOD CITY -- Two longtime San Mateo County Transit District workers face felony charges in connection with the theft of more than $40,000 from Caltrain ticket machines.

Orvilla Taylor, 59, and Herbert Todd, 52, appeared Tuesday in San Mateo County Superior Court but didn't enter pleas to embezzlement and grand-theft charges, said Chief Deputy District Attorney Karen Guidotti.

They are due back July 6 to complete their arraignment.

Prosecutors say Taylor, a Union City resident, and Todd, who lives in Hayward, work for SamTrans repairing ticket machines.

However, on 12 separate occasions they allegedly stole money out of broken ones.

Taylor and Todd have been working for the agency for 34 and 26 years, respectively.

Caltrain discovered the missing cash during an audit of revenues and receipts. Prosecutors say surveillance video shows the men acting suspiciously while working with the machines.

Christine Dunn, a spokeswoman for the commuter rail line, said both men have been placed on unpaid administrative leave pending the completion of an internal investigation and the criminal case.

"This is an extraordinarily rare occurrence at this agency," Dunn said in a statement. "Nonetheless, the protocols under which ticket-vending machine repair work is done have been improved, and security has been increased appropriately."

Taylor and Todd are out of custody on $150,000 bail.

Contact Joshua Melvin at 650-348-4335.

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