Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco had parked the $325,000 SUV in a Jacksonville, Florida, hotel parking lot last month while he was on an injury rehabilitation assignment. Alleged serial burglar Kahlil Eugene Mathis has been arrested in the June 22 theft.
Mathis, 24, allegedly used a wrench to break into the Rolls-Royce Cullinan at 3 a.m., then grabbed the safe, according to an arrest report. Police identified Mathis through an Arizona driver’s license and thumbprint he gave at a pawn shop where he sold some of the jewelry, a police report obtained by ESPN said. He was arrested July 4.
An alleged serial burglar stole more than $650,000 of jewelry from Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco’s car in June, according to court and police records obtained by me and @pinepaula. Nearly $550,000 worth has not been recovered.
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— Jeff Passan (@JeffPassan) July 22, 2022
Among the items that were in Franco’s safe were a diamond-encrusted Cuban link chain and circle medallion with diamonds and a W in the center valued at $300,00; a rose gold Cuban chain worth $200,000; a platinum Rolex watch worth $44,000; and a gold pendant of Jerry from the “Tom and Jerry” mouse cartoon.
The pawn shop where Mathis sold some of the items was just 20 miles away from the Doubletree Hotel where the theft occurred, according to police. Following Mathis’ arrest, police found the safe containing several of the items in the bedroom closet of an apartment associated with Mathis. Among the items inside were the two championship rings. The two chains and the Rolex have not been recovered, the sheriff’s office told ESPN.
Mathis is a suspect in nine burglaries that took place this year, including the Franco break-in, according to Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office records. He has also been charged with weapons, evidence tampering, resisting arrest, credit card fraud and drug charges.
Franco, 21, is in his second year in the Major Leagues and is considered a future superstar. He signed an 12-year, $185 million contract with the Rays last year. For the year, Franco is batting .260 with five home runs and 23 runs batted in. He is out of the lineup now as he deals with a broken hamate bone in his right hand.