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Puerto Rican golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez robbed of $500,000, police say

By CNN Wires Staff
  • Robbers broke into golfer Chi Chi Rodriguez's home, he and his wife were asleep
  • Up to $500,000 in jewelry and other items taken
  • Rodriguez and wife were tied up but not injured
  • He is the founder of a non-profit foundation that targets at-risk children

(CNN) -- Three armed men robbed famed Puerto Rican golfer Juan Antonio "Chi Chi" Rodriguez and his wife of up to $500,000 worth of jewelry, watches and other personal items in their home early Wednesday, police said.

The crime occurred about 1:30 a.m. when the robbers broke into the golfer's home at El Legado Resort in the southern Puerto Rican city of Guayama, police spokesman Wilson Porrata said. The robbers tied Rodriguez up before making off with the merchandise, Porrata said in a statement.

Rodriguez, 74, and his wife, Iwalani, were not injured, police said.

"Aside from the fright -- they were asleep -- they are fine," police spokeswoman Erica Colon told CNN. "They were not beaten."

No arrests had been made by late Wednesday afternoon, Colon said.

The losses were covered by insurance, said the golfer's publicist, Maria Morales.

"The thing that troubles (him) the most is they took Iwalani's wedding ring," Morales told CNN.

Rodriguez and his wife have been married for 45 years, the publicist said.

Rodriguez had the first of his eight PGA Tour wins in 1963. He has had 87 top 10 finishes in the 527 events in which he has played.

He is the founder of the non-profit Chi Chi Rodriguez Youth Foundation and the Chi Chi Rodriguez Academy in Clearwater, Florida, which teaches golf and life lessons to at-risk children.

CNN's Hank Bishop and Arthur Brice contributed to this report.