Saturday, May 25, 2024

Anaheim man pleads guilty to stealing Olympic volleyball player’s gold medal from her garage

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An Anaheim man pleaded guilty Monday to stealing an Olympic gold medal from the garage of volleyball player Jordyn Poulter.

Jordan Fernandez pleaded guilty to felony counts of first- and second-degree burglary, unauthorized use of personal identification and bringing a controlled substance to jail, as well as a misdemeanor charge of possession of controlled substance paraphernalia, according to court records.

Fernandez, who was arrested in June, was sentenced to 364 days in jail and two years of probation, but he was credited for 179 days served and 179 days for good conduct, according to court records. Fernandez’s next hearing is scheduled for Dec. 12 for relinquishing firearms.

Fernandez has a criminal history, pleading guilty in April 2020 to a felony count of robbery and was sentenced to 120 days in jail and three years of probation. In January, he was incarcerated for 60 days on suspicion of violating his parole.

Poulter, the starting setter for the U.S. Women’s Olympic Volleyball Team in the 2020 Tokyo Summer Olympics, reported the medal stolen from her unlocked rental vehicle parked in her garage on May 25, according to the Anaheim Police Department.

“I just really forgot that it was in my car,” Poulter said at the time. “As silly as that sounds, it is the reality of the situation.”

Nearly a month later, Maria Carrillo, owner of Carrillo Income Tax in Anaheim, found the medal inside a plastic trash bag while she was walking her dogs outside the office. Anaheim police said they haven’t figured out how the medal ended up in the trash bag.

“I was very emotional and surprised because I knew I had in my hand something that took somebody a lot of work to earn,” Carrillo said. “I feel honored to be able to return that to the person who actually put all that work in.”

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