Back in 2011, legendary Jeopardy! host Alex Trebek had one hell of an overnight stay in a San Francisco hotel. Not only did a thief steal his cash and bracelet, but Trebek tore his Achilles tendon while chasing the robber through the hotel.
During a 2015 appearance on The Howard Stern Show, Trebek opened up about the crazy ordeal. He said that around 2:30 a.m. he heard someone inside he and his wife Jean’s hotel room. When Trebek got up to check on the disturbance, he noticed that his cash and his bracelet were gone.
Additionally, he found a wad of tissue in the room’s door. The thief had placed it there to dampen the sound of the closing door when they exited the room. Trebek hurried and put pants on and made his way into the hallway. Upon entering the hallway, the Jeopardy! host spotted a woman walking away from his room, so he confronted her.
“I looked down the hall, and there’s this woman walking away,” Trebek said to Howard Stern. “So I put my pants on and then she was walking out of the room where the ice machine is. I said, ‘What were you doing in my hotel room?’ ‘I wasn’t in your hotel room.’ ‘Yes, you were.’ And I said, ‘Then what are you doing up here, it’s 2:30 in the morning?’ ‘I was visiting friends.’ At 2:30 in the morning? I said, ‘Let me call security.’ Then she took off, and I took off after her. I got about 20 feet and then [snap], just like that. Not my knee, my Achilles tendon. It was like snap, I knew it immediately.”
The ‘Jeopardy!’ Host Didn’t Catch the Thief, But Security Tracked Her Down
Trebek’s pursuit of the hotel thief didn’t last long once he injured himself during the chase. However, he did immediately call security and was able to give them a full description of the female robber. Fortunately, security caught the thief before she was able to make her getaway from the hotel.
“I described her to them, and they caught her,” the longtime Jeopardy! host said. “And she kept denying, denying, denying, and she’s now doing six years [in jail].”
“Did she look at you and go, holy s–t it’s Alex Trebek?” late-night host Jimmy Kimmel asked Trebek, who was visiting the show the same day.
“No, no,” Trebek said with a laugh.
“Not a Jeopardy! fan,” co-host Robin Quivers joked.
Trebek said that the woman was obviously down on her luck and looked like she’d had a rough life. But he also said that people have to stand up to others in certain situations like his. Howard Stern hilariously said he would’ve cowered in a corner if someone broke into his hotel room before Trebek replied.
“No, we need more people to stand up. Sometimes, even if you’re not armed or anything, if you stand up in the right way it’ll work. Other times you’ll get shot,” Trebek said with a laugh.