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Former Texas deputy accused of stealing thousands from Vietnamese businesses

Bobby Joe Espinosa, who is charged with felony theft, is accused of going into businesses in uniform, kicking out patrons and forcing open drawers to take money, court documents say.
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A former Texas constable deputy has been arrested after he was accused of stealing thousands of dollars from multiple Vietnamese businesses while in uniform, court documents state. 

Bobby Joe Espinosa, who was a constable deputy with Harris County Precinct 4, was charged with felony theft, accused of targeting businesses run by Vietnamese owners from Sept. 1 through March, according to a complaint filed in Harris County District Court.

Espinosa, 39, is accused of going into the businesses in uniform, kicking out the patrons and forcing open drawers to take money, a probable cause document seeking further detention states. He would also kick in doors to back offices and pry open slot machines for money, according to the document.

The complaint says the amount taken was $2,500 to less than $30,000. NBC affiliate KPRC of Houston reported Espinosa is alleged to have pocketed $5,700 in the raids.

He was arrested Friday and was released Sunday on $30,000 bond, according to court documents. 

He had been an officer with Precinct 4 for more than seven years, KPRC reported. He was let go from his job the day he was arrested, a spokesperson for the precinct told NBC News.

"Every one of us who puts on this uniform want to maintain the pride in our agency and our profession and we can only do that by fully investigating any allegations of wrong doing," Precinct 4 Constable Mark Herman said in a statement.

"These allegations against ex-deputy Bobby Espinosa are no different and are receiving the full attention of my office in collaboration with the Harris County Sheriff’s office," he continued.

NBC News has reached out to the sheriff's office, which investigated the case, for comment.

Espinosa's attorney could not be reached for comment Tuesday.