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Burger King worker accused of stealing from disabled customer

January 07, 2012
  • Luis Maximino Lucero Ballinas
Luis Maximino Lucero Ballinas

An Irvine restaurant worker has been arrested on suspicion of stealing from a mentally disabled customer, police said.

Police say that Luis Maximino Lucero Ballinas, 42, of Tustin, worked at a Burger King at the intersection of Culver Drive and Walnut Avenue in Irvine, near the 38-year-old woman's home.

The woman would regularly walk to the restaurant to buy a hamburger for lunch, but then her parents, with whom she lived, noticed that she wouldn't come home with any change and suspected someone was taking advantage of their daughter's disability, according to a news release from Irvine police.

Police then began taking their lunch at the eatery, and watched Ballinas pocket the woman's change without ringing up the sale, according to the release.

Police said they suspect Ballinas had been stealing from the woman for months.

He was booked at Orange County Jail and faces a misdemeanor charge of committing theft against a dependent adult.

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—Lauren Williams

Twitter: @lawilliams30

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