Former Torrance police officer and bail agent, Rehan Nazir, 51, has been sentenced to 27 years in state prison for abusing his position as a bail agent. Nazir was convicted of 17 felony counts, including kidnapping, extortion, burglary, false imprisonment, use of a firearm in the commission of a felony, and grand theft.
Prosecutor Monique Preoteasa stated that the crimes occurred between 2017 and 2019 in various cities, including Torrance, Gardena, Manhattan Beach, Lakewood, Rolling Hills Estates, El Segundo, and Long Beach. Nine victims were involved in the counts for which Nazir was convicted.
During his time as a licensed bail agent, Nazir employed bounty hunters to locate and apprehend individuals he had bonded out of jail. In one instance, Nazir and his employees broke into a home, detained multiple people at gunpoint, and threatened to return a bailed-out individual to jail if money was not given.
Nazir also claimed the right to repossess vehicles owned by those he bailed out, even without a collateral contract. He accepted stolen credit cards and property as payment instead of cash.
Several victims reported their experiences, including Shannon Van Heyningen Jimenez, who suffered anxiety and panic attacks after Nazir’s actions. Nazir threatened her and showed her graphic photos of two dead bodies. Another victim was hospitalized due to stress caused by the trial.
Nazir’s attorney, Joseph Weimortz, argued that Nazir did not kidnap anyone but had contracts with the victims and picked them up for failing to make payments. Weimortz also mentioned Nazir’s substance abuse problem, mainly alcohol, resulting from mistreatment during his tenure with the Torrance Police Department.
Nazir was fired from the Torrance Police Department in 2010 after being accused of suppressing evidence in an arrest, leading to the dismissal of a drug case. He filed multiple lawsuits against the city in an attempt to regain his job, costing over $500,000 in legal defense.
The criminal case against Nazir gained attention after George Gascón took office as District Attorney and issued directives to eliminate sentencing enhancements. However, a judge denied prosecutors’ motions to withdraw the enhancements. Nazir filed an appeal for a state Supreme Court review, with Gascón supporting the reversal of the court’s decision.