The Case of Stolen Michael Jordan Sneakers Set to Go to Trial


By Leah Timmerman

SACRAMENTO, CA – The case of stolen Michael Jordan sneakers is set to go to trial after a preliminary hearing this week in Sacramento County Superior Court.

Dept. 17 Judge James Arguelles ruled the case should be heard before a jury after witness testimony that he believed was sufficient for defendant Francisco Salinas to be guilty of a felony robbery, a $350 pair of Jordan sneakers.

On Feb. 24, 2021, it is alleged that Salinas committed a felony second degree robbery, which is considered a strike.

Deputy District Attorney Saron Tesfai first called Sacramento City Police Officer Matthew Brueck to testify about giving a photo lineup to the victim. The officer stated that the victim made a positive identification from the photos of who had robbed him.

“I recognized his face, his hair is longer now but blond. He’s the one who stole my shoes,” the victim stated to Officer Brueck. The victim made the positive identification of Salinas and circled the photo.

Assistant Public Defender Courtney Zane was then allowed to cross-examine the witness officer, asking him if he had asked the victim their confidence level in identifying the person who robbed them. He admitted he did not and that another officer was in charge of a follow-up to gather this information.

DDA Tesfai then called SPD Officer Sean McDade, who said the victim told him “he had been selling a pair of Jordan shoes on an app called “OfferUp” and that he was meeting a potential buyer (but) the “potential buyer did not pay him and robbed him of the shoes he was trying to sell.”

The victim advertised the shoes for $350 and made an agreement with the potential buyer in the amount of $335.

The victim agreed to meet the potential buyer at a park near his house. He met both the potential buyer and another individual after they drove up in a black BMW.

Officer McDade said the victim described the interaction to him, noting, “He let him try on one shoe…they were going to pay via ‘CashApp,’ and when he requested the funds he had a problem with the verification. He said he had never run into that before…when he was attempting to verify, the potential buyer took the shoes and the box back toward the car.”

The transaction never went through and the victim never received any funds.

DDA Tesfai asked if the victim had tried to get the shoes back from the potential buyer. Officer McDade stated that they attempted to text them later that day and when the potential buyer walked away the victim was held back by the other individual in the car.

The victim did not fight with them and was quoted by Officer McDade to say that “the shoes weren’t worth a fight like that.”

When asked about potential leads, McDade said the victim had done some considerable research into the suspect by taking the username from the “OfferUp” app and he found him on Instagram. Through both apps, the victim was able to provide pictures of the suspect and the vehicle he drove.

The vehicle plates were registered to the defendant, Francisco Salinas, whose description and age matched what was given to the police.

Officer McDade then positively identified Salinas in the courtroom next to the public defender as the suspect in the robbery. When asked about the photo lineup given to previous witness, Officer Brueck, Officer McDade stated the photo of Salinas was circled by the victim.

PD Zane asked the officer about how long it took for the officers to respond and if the person who held the victim was not Salinas. Officer McDade stated it was a few hours before he responded and agreed that the individual was not Salinas.

Judge Arguelles determined from the testimony that the offense in Count 1 had been committed and found that there is sufficient cause that the defendant is guilty thereof and thus is ordered to answer. A formal arraignment was waived and a not guilty plea was entered.

Since there is a possible co-defendant—the other individual who held the victim during the exchange—July 20 was set for further proceedings in Dept. 61 at 8:30 a.m.

Leah Timmerman is a 4th year Political Science and American Studies major at UC Davis. She is originally from Los Angeles, California.

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