Guilty pleas from three who broke into Olympian’s home, stole gold medal

VISTA (CNS) – Three men who broke into the Oceanside home of 2002 Olympic skeleton sledding champion Tristan Gale Geisler, stealing her gold medal and other valuables, pleaded guilty Tuesday to burglary and receiving stolen property.

Emilio Valencia, 22, pleaded guilty to five counts of residential burglary, one count of receiving stolen property and “hot prowl” allegations. He will be sentenced to eight years in state prison on June 30, said Deputy District Attorney Tracy Prior.

David Isaac Villa, 21, pleaded guilty to five burglary charges and one count of receiving stolen property and will be sentenced to six years behind bars on the same day as Valencia.

Mauro Gonzalez, 24, pleaded guilty to a pair of burglary counts and one count of receiving stolen property and will be sentenced to four years in prison on June 22.

Prior said the defendants went on a “three-man crime spree” in January, breaking into three homes, including Gale Geisler's on two occasions.

The suspects stole Gale Geisler's gold medal and other valuables on Jan. 26 while she walked her dog.

Neighbors noticed suspicious activity and wrote down a license number, leading to the arrests of the defendants, the prosecutor said.

The trio probably got a good look at the inside of Gale Geisler's residence when they broke in about a week before and were scared off by the athlete, Prior said.

Gale Geisler's gold medal — which she won in the 2002 Winter Olympic Games in Salt Lake City — was recovered a few days after the theft, along with her Olympic ring, a computer hard drive containing family photos and other items.

Gale Geisler's medal was for the sport of skeleton, a kind of sledding.

Categories: KUSI