Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Relay for Life donations stolen; Spring Hill bar employee arrested

SPRING HILL — An employee of a popular nightclub is facing a charge of grand theft after a video surveillance camera inside the business caught him stealing $400 that was intended to support a local charity event, authorities said.

A Hernando County Sheriff's Office report said that Rafael Rodriguez, 33, of Brooksville was arrested Monday after authorities were summoned by Mark Sabavishin, the owner of Bar Envy, 11060 Spring Hill Drive.

According to the report, Sabavishin noticed shortly after closing time early Monday that an envelope containing the cash donation for Relay for Life was missing from his office desk. After reviewing the surveillance video, he determined that Rodriguez had picked up an envelope containing his paycheck and placed it near the envelope containing the cash. Rodriguez then picked up both envelopes and left the office, authorities said.

Authorities said that upon questioning, Rodriguez agreed to return the $400, but gave no further statement as to how or why he took the money.

Sabavishin told the Times on Tuesday that he was particularly upset over the incident because it involved money that patrons had donated to support his bar's participation in the annual Spring Hill Relay for Life walk for cancer research. The establishment set a goal of raising $2,600 toward its participation in the event, which will be in April at Nature Coast Technical High School.

"I have a phenomenal group of customers who always help us whenever we support causes like this," Sabavishin said. "And this cause is very important to me personally."

Sabavishin said Rodriguez no longer works at Bar Envy. He was taken to the Hernando County Detention Center; he was released Tuesday after posting $5,000 bail.

Logan Neill can be reached at or (352) 848-1435.

Relay for Life donations stolen; Spring Hill bar employee arrested 01/22/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, January 22, 2013 8:01pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Hopes fade after landslide destroys Chinese village (w/video)


    Crews searching through the night in the rubble left by a landslide that buried a mountain village under tons of soil and rocks in southwestern China found 15 bodies, but more than 110 more people remained missing.

    Vehicles and people line a road leading to the site of a landslide in Xinmo village in Mao County on Saturday in southwestern China’s Sichuan Province. More than 100 people remained missing after the village was buried under tons of rocks and soil.
  2. Rookie Jake Faria dissatisfied with performance in Rays' loss to Orioles

    The Heater

    ST. PETERSBURG — The rookie pitcher walked to his locker Saturday after tossing the fourth quality start in as many tries to begin his career. He held the potent Orioles bats to three runs and for six innings gave his team a chance to win.

    Orioles third baseman Manny Machado tags out the Rays’ Mallex Smith at third after a rundown in the first inning.
  3. Thousands converge in two St. Pete locations celebrating LGBT rights

    Human Interest

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom Rockhill didn't know what to expect Saturday, but by noon people were knocking on the door of his bar Right Around the Corner in Grand Central.

    (From left to right) Emma Chalut 18, gets a rainbow sticker on her cheek from her sister Ellie, 15 both of Jacksonville before the annual St. Pete Pride parade in downtown St. Petersburg on Saturday. This year the route was changed from the Grand Central and Kenwood area to Bayshore Drive.
[EVE EDELHEIT   |   Times]
  4. Retired Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald dies

    TALLAHASSEE — A former Florida Supreme Court justice, who wrote a decision that prevented lawyers from excluding jurors because of their race, has died.

    Former Florida Supreme Court Justice Parker Lee McDonald died Saturday, the court said in a statement. He was 93.
  5. Big cases, retirement rumors as Supreme Court nears finish


    WASHINGTON — The Supreme Court enters its final week of work before a long summer hiatus with action expected on the Trump administration's travel ban and a decision due in a separation of church and state case that arises from a Missouri church playground.

    Justice Anthony Kennedy will be turning 81 next month.