A former security guard at a Lakers practice facility pleaded no contest Friday to stealing three of the team’s championship rings and hundreds of dollars of gift cards, the L.A. County district attorney’s office said.
Mejía Eddie Monterroso, 23, entered his plea to grand theft of personal property and was sentenced to 180 days in county jail and three years' probation. He was also ordered to pay almost $14,000 in restitution.
Prosecutors said Monterroso stole the property while he worked the night shift between Oct. 24 and Dec. 5, 2013.
Detectives began looking into the missing championship rings and gift cards, valued at nearly $20,000, on Dec. 5. They later found the rings from the 2009 and 2010 seasons at Monterroso’s Inglewood home, El Segundo police said.
Monterroso used the gift cards to purchase video games and game consoles, according to Lt. Jaime Bermudez, a spokesman for the El Segundo Police Department. Police believe Monterroso sold some of the gift cards.
“The gift cards were going to be used [by the Lakers] for donations, distributed to different organizations in the community for their Christmas parties and charities,” Bermudez said.
Bermudez said the championship rings were identical replacement rings in case any of the original rings were lost.