Minor Leaguer charged in Dodgertown Robberies

A Dodger minor league pitcher has been arrested and charged as the result of several break-ins and thefts that have occurred at Dodgertown over the past two months. Chris Hobdy, who has been rehabbing from an shoulder operation at the Dodger complex, was charged with seven counts of burglary and six counts of petit theft. He also was cited for trespassing and has been barred from Dodgertown.

He is currently being held on $146,000 bond in the Indian River County jail.

The investigation began last month when several Dodger players who are residents in the Dodgertown villas reported cash and credit cards missing. After Vero Beach police detective Jim Kelly began his investigation, several more thefts were reported.

The villas are typically occupied by players from the Gulf Coast Dodgers at this time of year.

Kelly tracked the fraudulent use of the credit cards to several gas stations in the Vero Beach area where the cards had apparently been used at self-service pumps. By then, another player reported the loss of $200 from his wallet left in his room.

Kelly then installed a hidden video camera in one of the rooms. He also placed some money as bait left on a dresser. A short time later the money was missing and the video revealed Hobdy entering the room and taking it.

Hobdy was arrested Wednesday night when, according to Lt. Daniel Cook of the Vero Beach police, he admiitted that he had been stealing the cash and credit cards. He claimed he would use the credit cards, then try to return them to the room before the victim became aware they were missing.

Hobdy said he was remorseful and that he committed the crimes "because he was unable to meet his expenses."

Each burglary charge is a third-degree felony punishable by up to five years in prison and a $5,000 fine. Each petit theft charge is a first-degree misdemeanor punishable by up to one year in prison and a $1,000 fine.

The 19-year-old Hobdy was a seventh round draft choice by the Dodgers after graduating from Monterey High School in Lubbock, Tex., where he earned all-state honors. In signing with the Dodgers, he turned down a scholarship to Texas Tech.

He debuted in the Gulf Coast League last year; however, almost immediately suffered arm problems and had to be shut down with an operation following. As it was, he managed to get into only five games, losing one decision with a 20.25 ERA.

This year, he was again listed on the Gulf Coast roster but had seen no action, having advanced in his rehabilitation process as far as pitching simulated games.

Dodger officials, while acknowledging the arrest, declined to comment on the situation. Josh Rawitch, director of public relations, cited a team policy against commenting on ongoing legal processes.

The investigation continues as police seek evidence of any other thefts or possible fraudulent credit card use.