Wander Franco loses $650K in stolen jewelry

An alleged serial thief stole more than $650,000 worth of jewelry from the SUV of Tampa Bay Rays shortstop, Wander Francowhen he was on a rehab assignment in June, according to police and court records obtained by ESPN.

According to an arrest report, Kahlil Eugene Mathis, 24, used a wrench to break into Franco’s Rolls-Royce Cullinan in a Jacksonville, Florida, hotel parking lot at 3 a.m. on June 22 and took a safe containing seven pieces of jewelry. Mathis sold some of the jewelry and police identified him through an Arizona driver’s license and fingerprint he gave at a pawn shop before arresting him on July 4, according to the report.

As part of his recovery from a right quadriceps strain, Franco had been playing with the Triple-A Durham Bulls and was in Jacksonville when Mathis, who was wanted for three other carjackings, allegedly broke into Franco’s car in the parking lot. of a DoubleTree Hotel. According to the arrest report, Mathis took a $60 safe from the back of the vehicle that contained:

• A gold diamond-encrusted Cuban-style link chain with a $300,000 circular gold medallion set with diamonds and a W in the center
• A rose gold diamond Cuban link chain valued at $200,000
• A $70,000 gold pendant with a medallion in green and blue letters that reads ‘FRANCO 5’
• A $44,000 Rolex platinum diamond watch
• A $20,000 American League championship ring
• A $20,000 Durham championship ring • A $5,000 gold Jerry the Mouse pendant from the cartoon “Tom and Jerry”

On June 23, according to the report, Mathis sold two of the items at a pawn shop about 20 miles southwest of the hotel. Following Mathis’ arrest, police found the safe in the bedroom closet of an apartment occupied by a woman about six miles from the hotel. Among the items inside were the two championship rings. The two Cuban link chains and the Rolex have not been recovered, the sheriff’s office told ESPN on Friday.

Mathis is in jail and faces charges for nine separate incidents since January, including four felony robbery charges, including breaking and entering Franco, according to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office records. He has also been charged with 14 other felony counts involving weapons, evidence tampering, resisting arrest, credit card and drug fraud, in addition to four misdemeanor counts, including assault. He has a court date scheduled for August 1 and is being held on $906,566 bond, according to the sheriff’s office.

A public defender for Mathis did not return messages left by ESPN.

After returning to the Rays on June 25, Franco played two weeks of games before breaking a bone in his right hand while swinging. The Rays placed him on the disabled list and he is expected to miss six to eight weeks, keeping him out until at least mid-August.

Coming off a brilliant debut in 2021, when he hit .368 in the postseason, Franco is hitting .260/.308/.396 with five home runs and 23 RBIs in 58 games this year. The former Major League Baseball No. 1 prospect signed an 11-year, $182 million contract with the Rays in November.

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Wander Franco loses $650K in stolen jewelry