$650K in jewelry stolen from Tampa Bay Rays star’s Rolls-Royce while parked at Jacksonville hotel

24-year-old Orange Park man arrested, accused in string of auto burglaries

Tampa Bay Rays' Wander Franco hits a single against the Detroit Tigers in the first inning of a baseball game in Detroit, Friday, Sept. 10, 2021. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya) (Paul Sancya, Copyright 2021 The Associated Press. All rights reserved)

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – An Orange Park man is accused of stealing more than $650,000 in jewelry last month from a Rolls-Royce owned by Tampa Bay Rays shortstop Wander Franco while it was parked at a Jacksonville hotel, according to multiple media reports.

According to a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office report obtained and first reported by ESPN, Kahlil Eugene Mathis, 24, used a wrench to break into Franco’s Rolls-Royce Cullinan at 3 a.m. on June 22 and grabbed a safe that contained the jewelry.

It happened when Franco when was on a minor league rehabilitation assignment with the Triple-A Durham Bulls and staying at the DoubleTree Hotel on the Southbank for a game against the Jacksonville Jumbo Shrimp.

ESPN reported the man is accused of taking a $60 safe from the rear of the vehicle that held:

• A $300,000 gold, diamond-encrusted Cuban link chain and circle medallion with diamonds and a W in the center

• A $200,000 rose gold Cuban link chain with diamonds

• A $70,000 gold pendant with a medallion in green and blue lettering spelling “FRANCO 5″

• A $44,000 Platinum Rolex watch with diamonds

• A $20,000 American League championship ring

• A $20,000 championship ring from Durham

• A $5,000 gold pendant of Jerry the mouse from the “Tom and Jerry” cartoon

The former No. 1 prospect in Major League Baseball signed an 11-year, $182 million contract with the Rays in November, ESPN reported.

According to the Florida Times-Union, Mathis was also linked to several other auto burglaries in San Marco and the Southbank. He now faces a total of 24 charges connected to nine separate incidents, jail records show.

ESPN reported that Mathis sold some of the jewelry, and police identified him through a driver’s license and thumbprint he gave at a pawn shop before he was arrested on July 4.

Following his arrest, the two championship rings were found in his Southside apartment, according to the T-U.

Jail records show Mathis has a court date scheduled for Aug. 1 and is being held on $906,566 bond.

News4JAX has requested the arrest report to learn more details.

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