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PROVO — BYU linebacker Sione Takitaki has been charged with two counts of misdemeanor theft by University Police, according to a campus police report.
Takitaki received two citations of Class B misdemeanors for a pair of thefts allegedly involving the removal of athletic gear from the women's soccer and track and field areas of the Smith Fieldhouse.
Takitaki, a sophomore linebacker from Fontana, California, acquired the items while working a night shift in his employment with BYU custodial services.
"The jacket (from the women's soccer offices) was a very expensive one, one of a kind," Lt. Arnold Lemmon told KSL NewsRadio. "It was a poor choice. He really didn't have an answer as to why, except that it was a poor choice on his part.
"He was very cooperative, returned all the property, and at the conclusion of a second interview he was issued two citations and charged with Class B theft."
The charges were screened and approved by the Provo City Attorney's Office, then handed over to the city's justice court. Takitaki is scheduled for arraignment Aug. 27, according to court documents.
A BYU football spokesman confirmed the team is aware of the situation and "it will be addressed appropriately."
The Deseret News reported that Takitaki will be suspended for the Cougars' season-opener at Nebraska on Sept. 5.
On July 10, BYU police received a report that an individual reported a missing jacket near the women's soccer offices at the Smith Fieldhouse at 11:47 a.m. Another reported July 21 details that "items had been taken from different areas at different times," which launched an investigation.
Officers reviewed surveillance footage of the Smith Fieldhouse and identified Takitaki from the film, which led to two interviews of the standout linebacker whom BYU head coach Bronco Mendenhall included among his top pass rushers after Wednesday's practice.
Lemmon said Takitaki was "very remorseful" during interviews, which led to his cooperation.
The California native has been plagued with other issues during his first year in Provo. Takitaki was reportedly involved in a fight in a campus dorm last summer, and he was temporarily kicked off the team but remained in school. A few days later, Mendenhall reinstated the standout linebacker to the team and he finished his freshman season with 19 tackles, four tackles for loss, three sacks, a forced fumble and three quarterback hurries.
Contributing: Cleon Wall