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Sacramento news anchor to be arraigned in high-end shoplifting case

SACRAMENTO Calif. (Reuters) - A Sacramento-area television news anchor charged with grand theft and burglary over the alleged theft of Coach wallets from an outlet store will be arraigned later this month, court documents showed on Monday.

Sabrina Rodriguez was charged last week in connection with a 2013 incident in which merchandise was stolen from a store in the Sacramento suburb of Folsom, Rodriguez' station, Fox40, said on its website.

The award-winning anchor said she was innocent of the charges, the station said on its website. However, the station said that she had been granted a voluntary leave of absence.

Rodriguez will be arraigned on three felony charges including conspiracy on August 29, according to case information obtained from the Sacramento Superior Court.

Rodriguez turned herself in last Thursday, more than a year after a warrant was issued for her arrest in the case, said Jason Browning, a spokesman for Folsom Police.

Police questioned her at the time of the incident last year, Browning said. Store employees recognized her from her role as a local television anchor and reporter, he said.

Rodriguez is accused of stealing $2,500 worth of wallets at the Coach outlet store in Folsom in 2013. Her attorney, Mark Reichel, told the Sacramento Bee newspaper she was "completely innocent" of the charges, but did not immediately respond to an email request for comment from Reuters.

A man, whom Browning named as Nicholas Gray and local media said was Rodriguez's fiance, is said to have been a co-conspirator in the case, Browning said.

Gray also faces methamphetamine, marijuana and arson charges in an unrelated case, court records posted online show.

On May 6, firefighters were called to a roaring blaze at the home the couple shared in South Sacramento, according to the local CBS affiliate, CBS13. The couple said at the time they thought the stove had exploded, the station said on its website.

Police have not said whether the charges relate to that fire.

(Reporting by Sharon Bernstein; Editing by Clarence Fernandez)

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