A Sacramento television reporter is out on bail after being arrested for allegedly stealing $2,500 worth of merchandise from a local retailer.
Sabrina Aiko Rodriguez, an employee of KTXL “FOX40 News,” is accused of helping a friend steal ten Coach wallets from an outlet store in Folsom, California last year.
According to KCRA-TV, employees at the Coach store identified Rodriguez to police as “an anchor at a local television station.” Managers valued the stolen merchandise at approximately $2,500.
Court documents obtained by The Desk show Rodriguez has been charged with three felony criminal counts, including grand theft, burglary and conspiracy. She is currently out on $10,000 bail and is scheduled to be arraigned in Sacramento superior court later this month.
Mark Reichel, a criminal defense attorney retained by Rodriguez, told KCRA that the reporter is “100 percent innocent” and plans to defend herself in court.
KTXL news director Ed Chapuis provided The Desk with the following statement on Thursday:
We were informed late Thursday July 31 that legal action has been taken against anchor Sabrina Rodriguez. These charges relate to a personal situation with Ms. Rodriguez that is not related to her work at FOX40. Sabrina maintains she is innocent of these allegations. She has been granted a voluntary leave of absence from the station.
The station acknowledged Rodriguez’s arrest in a statement posted online Friday evening.
Rodriguez’s fiancé was also arrested recently on unrelated charges. According to KOVR, Nicholas Gray was detained by police on suspicion of arson, battery, manufacturing meth and possession marijuana with intent to sell. Authorities have not said if Gray’s arrest is related to a May 6 fire at the couple’s Sacramento home.
Rodriguez was a brief Internet sensation after video of a monkey groping her breast during a live news broadcast went viral last September. The clip, which the station repeated for days, was rebroadcast on national programs and made headlines around the world.
The arrest was the latest in a string of criminal cases to have focused on the station in recent years.
Last year, a former KTXL web editor was indicted by a federal grand jury over an alleged conspiracy involving the alteration of a news article on a website owned by the station’s parent company Tribune. He has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
In 2008, a KTXL news producer was arrested for the hit-and-run death of two girls on Halloween night. Jennifer Michelle Moran of West Sacramento agreed to plead guilty in the felony vehicular homicide case in exchange for a nine year prison sentence. According to media reports, Moran admitted to police that she had been drinking the night of the crash.