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POSTED April 7, 2013 6:05 p.m.

• LAPD VOLUNTEER ACCUSED OF STEALING GAS: VAN NUYS (AP) — Authorities say a longtime Los Angeles Police Department volunteer faces criminal charges for allegedly stealing city gas for his personal vehicle.

The Daily News reports James Hardie, a retired Simi Valley police officer, is charged with two misdemeanor counts of petty theft.

Frank Mateljan, a spokesman for the City Attorney’s Office, tells the newspaper that Hardie is accused of stealing gas from pumps at the LAPD’s North Hollywood station, one of several where he volunteered, on Jan. 22 and again on March 2.

His lawyer says Hardie never put personal gas in his own vehicle and he denies any wrongdoing.

Police officials say Hardie has been removed from his position as a volunteer.

Hardie, who is in his 50s, had been an lapd volunteer since 2003.

• 2 SMALL QUAKES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA DESERT: LOS ANGELES (AP) — There are no reports of damage or injury from a pair of small earthquakes that struck in Southern California’s desert region.

The US Geological Survey says a magnitude 3.4 quake hit at 12:14 p.m. Sunday about eight miles northeast of Indio and nine miles from Indio.

A magnitude 3.1 earthquake struck about an hour and a half later less than miles to the north. The USGS says the epicenter of the second quake was 41 miles from Twentynine Palms, 41 miles from Yucca Valley and 43 miles from Barstow.

Sheriff’s dispatchers say there were no reports of damage or injury from either quake.

• US GAS PRICES DROP 6 CENTS OVER PAST 2 WEEKS: CAMARILLO (AP) — The average U.S. price of a gallon of gasoline has dropped six cents over the past two weeks.

The Lundberg Survey of fuel prices released Sunday says the price of a gallon of regular is $3.65. Midgrade costs an average of $3.82 a gallon, and premium is $3.96.

Diesel was down two pennies to $4.05 gallon.

Of the cities surveyed in the lower 48 states, Billings, Mont., has the nation’s lowest average price for gas at $3.33. Chicago has the highest at $4.05.

In California, the lowest average price was $3.86 in Sacramento. The highest was in San Francisco at $4.03. The average statewide for a gallon of regular was $3.99, down four cents.

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