SAN ANTONIO — A Paralympic champion had his gold medals stolen in San Antonio this weekend, but the medals were recovered within one day after a huge community response.
The San Antonio Police Department said the medals were dropped off at a San Antonio Fire Department station. However, an arrest has not taken place. Authorities are working to obtain finger prints from the medals in an attempt to locate the suspect.
Video which has gone viral shows the suspect breaking into a car and stealing a backpack with three gold medals inside on Saturday night. By Sunday afternoon, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus tweeted that the backpack and medals had been found.
This happened at The Rim parking garage on the northwest side this weekend. The Paralympian’s call for help in finding the suspect on social media led to an overwhelming response.
A month after winning gold in Beijing, USA Men’s Sled Hockey goaltender Jen Lee wanted to share his accomplishments with friends. He was going to visit a friend to show off his three (consecutive) gold medals.
“We were very fortunate our team won another gold…Normally I will just show the most recent one, but because I have three, I thought that was pretty cool,” Lee said.
During dinner on Saturday night around 7:15 pm—the cameras on Lee’s Tesla caught a man breaking into his car.
The backpack and the medals inside were gone.
“I definitely was a little bit shocked, a little bit dumbfounded and all that and kind of even laughed like, what else is life going to throw at me these days?” Lee said.
Lee, a US Army combat veteran who had his left leg amputated above the knee due to a motorcycle accident, plays locally for the San Antonio Rampage.
His Twitter and Facebook posts about the break-in got over a million views from people including San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, who said the video was turned over to SAPD’s Fusion Center.
“Next thing you know it’s blown up. So I’m thankful for the love and continuous support because people know it’s a deeper meaning than just a medal or a break into the car,” Lee said.
Lee says he can’t be mad at the situation and understands people do certain things to survive.
Lee’s hoping the person who did this understands why the medals mean so much.
“It’s actually more than just the gold medal, it’s more of the value of, everything behind it. Leave it somewhere, drop it off at the police station. I’ll keep the medals, and you can keep the backpack, it’s all good,” Lee asks.
KENS 5 also reached out to The Rim management team for a response and we’re waiting to hear from them.