Jewelry Theft Involving Pro Athletes

jewelry theft

Few people today make as much money, generate as much publicity or frequently enjoy life’s riches quite like professional athletes.

And in our era of social media and celebrity obsession, more and more stories of athletes’ off-the-field adventures and exploits come to light than ever before. Including tales that involve their jewelry.

Long known for an affinity for big-ticket and often custom-crafted jewelry, athletes and gilded accessories have a long, colorful and costly tradition together. Recently, a pair of high-profile athletes from two of America’s major professional sports leagues found themselves in the headlines because they had become victims of jewelry theft.

The circumstances surrounding these two stories vary a good bit. But one common denominator exists:

It makes smart sense to have jewelry insurance to fall back on – regardless of your “baller status” or overall degree of “swag.” Because as these two tales make very clear…you just never know – until you know.

The Young NFL Running Back & His Home “Invasion”

Running back Le’Veon Bell made many headlines amidst the 2018 NFL season alongside his contract battles with the Pittsburgh Steelers. After becoming a New York Jet the following year, Bell found himself in the news with a different set of financial issues.

This story had a little bit of everything, really. Sex. Money. Drama. Intrigue. Romance…or something like that. A home invasion…or something like that. Even a 911 call. According to multiple reports, Bell had more than half a million dollars’ worth of jewelry (valued at $547,600, per one report) stolen from his own South Florida home in late May, 2019. The culprits? A pair of women, identified in the police report as his “girlfriends.”

Bell signed a four-year, $52.5 million contract with the Jets. But like anyone, he no doubt had sentimental and emotional value attached to the items in the jewelry theft:

  • Two gold Cuban link chains with diamonds
  • A two-tone rose gold-and-white gold Cuban link bracelet
  • A gold chain with a Black Panther pendant studded with black-and-white diamonds
  • A rose gold Rolex Presidential watch

We’re not sure if Bell had insured any of the pricey pieces before they were stolen from his home. The story is a powerful reminder that even within your own home, it’s not unusual for your valued jewelry to go missing.

The Retired MLB Great & His Rental Car Mishap

During his remarkable yet controversial Major League Baseball career, Alex “A-Rod” Rodriguez also made many headlines. Now that the retired slugger broadcasts MLB games for ESPN, we continue to hear about A-Rod from time to time.

Rodriguez earned more than $450 million in contracts alone (not counting off-field endorsements) during his 22-season MLB career, including an infamous 10-year, $252-million contract from the Texas Rangers in 2000. There’s no doubt that A-Rod can afford to splurge on jewelry, and a recent story confirmed just that. However, the baseball legend probably would have preferred to keep the incident private.

In August 2019, while Rodriguez was serving on the ESPN Sunday Night Baseball broadcast crew, a thief used a baseball bat for something much more nefarious than hitting a home run. The bat shattered the windshield of Rodriguez’s rented SUV, just three blocks away from the San Francisco Giants’ Oracle Park. The prize found inside? According to some reports, more than half-a-million dollars in jewelry and electronics.

In this particular case, the San Francisco Police Department classified their report as confidential, so no details emerged about the particulars of the jewelry theft.

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

These types of things can happen when you travel with your jewelry, no matter who you are. Again, we’re not sure if Rodriguez had invested in jewelry insurance. But we’re quite confident that if he did not, he ended up regretting this oversight – no matter how much money he has in the bank.

Coverage: Important in Sports. Vital in Jewelry.

Sure, you’re not a “big baller” with millions of dollars in the bank (if you are, we apologize for the oversight). But you value your jewelry pieces, just as Bell and Rodriguez do (or in their unfortunate cases, did). While these two examples of jewelry theft may be somewhat extreme, they illustrate an important universal truth: there’s simply too much at stake when it comes to your treasured jewelry pieces to not insure them. Beyond the often extensive financial value, there’s the sentimental value that goes into your valuable and valued treasures.

Bell or Rodriguez may never truly replace their valued jewelry pieces. But if they did have jewelry insurance, they’d at least be able to come close…and start fresh with new pieces. If they, or you, don’t have insurance, you won’t really be able to make that kind of a fresh start.

When you’re ready to insure your valued jewelry piece or pieces, we encourage you to visit us here at Zillion to learn more. We offer specialized jewelry insurance that offers better coverage, transparency and ease, all at affordable rates.

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Zillion partners with jewelers to offer their customers lower rates on jewelry insurance. If you don’t see your jeweler on our list, we’re sorry, we won’t be able to offer you a quote for insurance. If you purchased from a Preferred Jewelers International retailer please email us at partners@myzillion.com and let us know the name of the retailer. Thank you.