Two longtime San Mateo County Transit District employees have pleaded not guilty in San Mateo County Superior Court to from Caltrain ticket machines they had been hired to repair.
Dressed in suits and ties, Orvilla Taylor, 59, and Herbert Todd, 52 -- who are out of custody on $150,000 bail bonds -- appeared in court with a defense attorney on Wednesday afternoon.
They pleaded not guilty to charges of embezzlement and grand theft in connection with the alleged thievery, and Judge Craig Parsons set an October preliminary hearing date for the pair.
Prosecutors say Taylor and Todd, who repaired ticket vending machines for the county’s transit district for more than 20 years, would remove damaged ticket machines and bring them to headquarters.
On 12 such occasions, according to prosecutors, Taylor and Todd would disassemble the machines and remove money.
The two stole more than $40,000, the San Mateo County District Attorney’s Office reported, before returning the machines to service.
An audit by Caltrain discovered the discrepancies between the amount deposited in the machines and what Caltrain ultimately collected, and video surveillance at the stations showed “suspicious and irregular conduct by the two suspects,” prosecutors said.
Taylor and Todd were subsequently arrested and have been charged with grand theft and embezzlement.
They are both out of custody on $150,000 bail bonds.
They are scheduled to appear in court again on Sept. 28 for a superior court review, and their preliminary hearing is scheduled for Oct. 25.
Caltrain spokeswoman Christine Dunn said Todd was hired in June 1985, and Taylor in January 1977. Both have been placed on administrative leave pending the completion of an internal employment investigation and resolution of the criminal matter, she said.