Crime Doesn't Get You On the Payroll

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    NEWSLETTERS

    TK
    AP
    Romeo Montillano is suspected of robbing a Kmart on East “H” Street in Chula Vista Dec. 8, 2008.

    Perhaps he thought his criminal expertise was in high demand on the force.

    A San Diego County man, wanted for a store robbery, was arrested after he showed up to take an exam to become a police officer, authorities said.

    Romeo Montillano, 40, was arrested Wednesday for investigation of robbery, making criminal threats and grand theft. He remained in the San Diego County jail on Saturday on $110,000 bail, according to the county sheriff's Web site.

    Investigators had identified Montillano as a suspect in a Dec. 8 robbery at a Chula Vista Kmart where a man stole a television, DVD player and telephone, then beat up employees who confronted him in the parking lot, police spokesman Bernard Gonzales said.

    A short time later, investigators learned that Montillano had signed up to take the February Police Department entrance exam, Gonzales said.

    Police called to Montillano, who apparently was unaware he was being sought for the robbery. Montillano said he was in Las Vegas but would return for a Feb. 18 orientation for police applicants, Gonzales said.

    Montillano didn't show up but called police to apologize and explain that his car had been impounded in Las Vegas, Gonzales said.

    In a later e-mail, Montillano told officers that he planned to take a bus and would be there for the police exam.  On the day of the test, Montillano signed in and was arrested, Gonzales said.

    Gonzales said as Montillano was being taken into custody, he asked whether he would still be able to take the police exam. Told he couldn't, Montillano asked whether he could reapply and take the test later.