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BYU's Sione Takitaki pleads guilty to theft at his on-campus job

PROVO — BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki accepted a plea deal in court Tuesday, admitting to misdemeanor theft while he was working a summer job for the university's athletic department.

At what was scheduled as a pretrial hearing, Takitaki instead pleaded guilty to one count of class B misdemeanor theft while an identical charge was dismissed.

Police say Takitaki stole an expensive "one-of-a-kind" track jacket and some soccer gear in July while working a night shift at his job as a campus custodian. After being identified through surveillance video, Takitaki returned the stolen property and has been cooperative with investigators, according to police.

After Takitaki waived time for sentencing, Judge Vernon Romney suspended a 180-day jail sentence for the football player and ordered 12 months probation and a $680 fine. Takitaki must either pay the fine or work it off through community service before Jan. 15.

Credit for $420 worth of community service has already been completed through BYU, court records indicate.

Following his arrest in August, the standout sophomore was suspended from BYU's Sept. 5 season opener against Nebraska. It was not the first time he faced team discipline.

In 2014, not long after arriving on campus, Takitaki was disciplined for fighting in the campus dorms. Last fall, after turning in a strong performance against Central Florida, Takitaki didn't show up at a subsequent practice and BYU coach Bronco Mendenhall suspended him for the next game against Nevada.

BYU and its athletic department declined comment on the resolution of Takitaki's criminal case.

Email: mromero@deseretnews.com

Twitter: McKenzieRomero