LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — Four employees of the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department have been relieved of duty over allegations of theft from towed vehicles and accepting cash from vehicle owners to avoid towing and impounding of their vehicles, authorities said Monday.

Sheriff’s investigators became aware of evidence in early December that three deputy sheriffs and a parking control officer may have been involved in criminal activity, according to officials.

In response, the Sheriff’s Department “immediately began an investigation to determine if there had been other instances of criminal activity on the part of those implicated, or whether any other personnel were involved in this misconduct,” authorities said.

The four employees have been relieved of duty pending the outcome of the on-going criminal investigation, according to the Sheriff’s Department.

However, no evidence was found implicating any additional personnel or any other instances of such criminal activity, according to officials.

In a statement, Sheriff Jim McDonnell underscored the importance of the Department’s swift response.

“As a law enforcement organization, it is imperative that we earn the public’s trust each day,” said McDonnell. “Any acts of misconduct by members of our Department tarnish the badge all of us wear and erode the confidence the public has in law enforcement.

“We will respond swiftly and resolutely whenever acts of this nature come to our attention, just as we did in this case.”

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