US Marine Taken Into Custody After Alleged Heists

US Marine Taken Into Custody After Alleged Heists

( – A US marine has been arrested and charged with robbing more than half a million dollars worth of jewelry. Police in Harris County, Texas, say 18-year-old Marcelo Hernandez waited until jewelry stores were closed before breaking in. He was caught when CCTV captured him smashing his way into a David Yurman outlet in October last year and a Helzberg Diamond store on April 5.

Constable Mark Herman of Harris County Police said Hernandez rammed through a storefront with a sledgehammer, broke display cases, and stole more than 200 pieces of jewelry valued at around $380,000. In his second robbery, he allegedly got away with $170,000. Herman reportedly said they identified Hernandez as their suspect following a “very thorough investigation.”

Constable Herman explained that when arrested, the teenager had three handguns, $11,000, and $500,000 worth of jewelry in his car. Furthermore, he was driving a Mercedes-Benz GLA with stolen plates that CCTV had captured at the scene of the heists. Officers also discovered that the teenager lived in the area surrounding the crime scenes.

The Constable went on to explain to FOX26 Houston that when Mr. Hernandez was taken into custody, his dog tags were exposed, revealing that the young, alleged robber was a member of the United States armed forces.

Speaking to the outlet, Constable Herman said, “He just recently finished his boot camp in the Marine Corps about a week before one of our cases.” Subsequent inquiries revealed that Hernandez was a private first-class reserve Marine with the 1st Battalion, 23rd Marine Regiment in Houston, but was not in drilling status at the time of the alleged offenses. A statement from the Marine Corps said it does not condone the “type of behavior alleged in the incident.”

Prosecutors have charged Mr. Hernandez with first-degree felony theft, and he was detained at Harris County jail. He faces a maximum sentence of up to 99 years in prison if convicted. Most of the stolen jewelry was recovered and returned to its owners.

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