TV Reporter Sabrina Rodriguez Accused in Handbag Shoplifting Plot

The Emmy-winning TV personality Sabrina Rodriguez is drawing her own headlines.

ByABC News
August 6, 2014, 8:28 AM

— -- An Emmy-winning TV reporter in California is drawing her own headlines, accused of shoplifting thousands of dollars worth of merchandise.

Sabrina Rodriguez, a reporter for Sacramento’s Fox40, was part of a handbag stealing tag-team, police said, acting as a lookout as her then-boyfriend, Nicholas Gray, swiped purses last year from a Coach outlet store.

Gray lifted more than $2,500 in wallets, police said.

Rodriguez, charged with grand theft and second-degree burglary, has not entered a plea. Gray -- who had not yet been charged -- is behind bars on unrelated charges, including arson.

In court documents, prosecutors said surveillance videos showed Rodriguez picking up and shaking a wallet at Gray, before Gray took the wallets off the store display and placed them in his bag.

While police said Rodriguez admitted to being in the store, she said she didn’t know anything about the alleged thefts.

Prosecutors said a series of text messages suggest otherwise, with Gray allegedly writing, “so easy -- I got 100 dlr purses” and ‘I got 8 $350 cashmere sweaters plus skirts I got rent.”

Rodriguez allegedly texted to Gray, “awesome. I love when a plan comes together.”

ABC News Chief Legal Affairs Anchor Dan Abrams said the messages between Gray and Rodriguez could play a huge role as the case proceeds.

“The text messages could be absolutely crucial if the defense here is 'I had no idea that any of this was happening,'” Abrams said.

Rodriguez resigned from her job Tuesday.

“I am now focusing on life decisions as I move forward with the support of family, friends, viewers and the community,” Rodriguez told ABC News in a statement.

Rodriguez is free on bail and will be back in court this month.