Half-million in jewelry, electronics stolen from A-Rod’s SUV in San Francisco

 

A thief smashed into baseball legend Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez’s rental vehicle Sunday night in San Francisco, making off with an estimated half-million dollars worth of jewelry and electronics, sources familiar with the investigation told The Chronicle.

Rodriguez was in town broadcasting the Giants-Phillies game for ESPN and he left his car on the 400 block of Brannan Street, about three blocks from Oracle Park, sources said.

Sometime between 9 p.m. and 11 p.m., someone broke into a vehicle in that location and stole a camera, a laptop, miscellaneous jewelry and a bag, said Officer Adam Lobsinger, a San Francisco police spokesman. Lobsinger said the burglary involved a private citizen and it’s against department policy to release victim information.

But numerous sources told The Chronicle the victim was Rodriguez, 44, and the thieves pilfered roughly $500,000 worth of goods. The department has made the report confidential, meaning it cannot be accessed by members of the force who are not involved in the investigation.

A source told The Chronicle that ESPN had rented a black Nissan sport utility vehicle for Rodriguez and other members of the production staff. The thieves struck while Rodriguez and the other staff members were having dinner after the broadcast.

Teams of burglary investigators were collecting evidence from the vehicle overnight and the department has made the case a high priority, sources said.

“It’s an unfortunate situation,” ESPN officials said in a statement. “We are working with local authorities to address it.”

ESPN last year added Rodriguez to its Sunday Night Baseball broadcast team as a color analyst. He played 22 seasons in the MLB and retired in 2016 with a .295 batting average. Rodriguez is the fourth all-time leader in home runs, with 696, but his career was tainted by accusations that he used performance enhancing drugs.

The high-profile break-in comes as San Francisco continues to grapple with an auto burglary epidemicthat has seen a record number of thefts in recent years.

In 2017, the city had its worst year ever for the crimes with 31,000 reported auto burglaries. That number has slowly started dropping as San Francisco police have reorganized staffing and placed more officers on foot patrols.

The number of reported auto burglaries each day, though, remains stark. There were 11,269 reports of car break-ins in San Francisco for the first half of the year — or 62 a day, according to department statistics. That number is down about 11% from the same period last year.

Supervisor Matt Haney, whose sixth district includes the area where Rodriguez’s vehicle was hit, said “We still have a terrible car break-in epidemic in San Francisco, and I’m sorry that it impacted Mr. Rodriguez.”

Haney added that the break-ins are “also hurting thousands of San Franciscans every year who have to repeatedly pay for window replacements. We need stronger prevention and accountability, and we also ask that people please not leave expensive things in their car. The more profitable these crimes are, the more likely that they continue.”