US Marine Arrested After Allegedly Stealing $500,000 In Jewelry

(Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

Mariane Angela Contributor
Font Size:

A U.S. Marine was arrested Thursday in Texas after he was identified as a suspect in two separate heists, according to Fox Houston.

Marcelo Hernandez, 18, was arrested over a series of high-stakes jewelry heists in Harris County. Hernandez is accused of stealing over half a million dollars in valuables from several jewelry stores, Fox Houston reported, citing Constable Mark Herman of Harris County Precinct 4.

“This is what we term a ‘serial jewelry store burglar,'” Herman said, the outlet reported.

Hernandez’s alleged criminal activities came to light shortly after he returned from Marine Corps boot camp. He was reportedly recorded on security footage using a sledgehammer to break into jewelry stores such as David Yurman and Helzberg Diamonds at the Houston Premium Outlet Mall. He allegedly carried out the heists clad in black, typically striking after business hours.

“He was being taken into custody and his dog tags fell out. He did tell us he was in the U.S. military,” Herman continued, Fox Houston reported. “Actually, he just recently finished his boot camp in the Marine Corps about a week before one of our cases.” (RELATED: Police Allege Two Women Drove Dead Man To Bank So They Could Steal His Money, Staff Could See Him From Car)

After his arrest, authorities discovered three handguns, $11,000 in cash and approximately $500,000 worth of jewelry, including diamonds and other precious stones, in his Mercedes-Benz GLA, the outlet reported. The young Marine, who reportedly resides with his parents in the Cypress area, faces two counts of first-degree felony theft.

Constable Herman expressed concern Hernandez might be implicated in criminal activities beyond the jewelry thefts.

“Just the police instinct in our investigators feel this guy is involved in more than just being a serial burglar at night with jewelry stores because some of the evidence we saw when we arrested him indicates he’s probably going to be involved in other crimes,” he stated.

Investigators are conducting ballistic tests on the handguns to determine whether they have been used in other crimes.

Herman lamented the choices of the young man, saying, “I mean, he’s got his entire life ahead of him. Why he would choose to take this direction or path, we don’t know,” according to the outlet.