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18-year-old US Marine steals over $500,000 from jewelry stores, Texas cops say

Police car lights (Viorel Margineanu/Dreamstime/TNS)

An 18-year-old U.S. Marine is accused of stealing more than $500,000 of jewelry between October and April, Texas deputies said.

More than $380,000 worth of jewelry was stolen from David Yurman Jewelry in Houston in October, according to the Precinct 4 Constable’s Office in Harris County. Deputies said an “unknown masked suspect” smashed through the front door using a sledge hammer.

Approximately five months later, on April 5, Helzberg Diamond in Houston was burglarized. More than $170,000 of jewelry was stolen, deputies said.

Following an investigation, deputies identified Marcelo Hernandez as a suspect. He was taken into custody April 11 and charged with felony theft, according to jail records.

His bond was set at $500,000, according to jail records.

According to court records, Hernandez stole 315 pieces of jewelry — 111 rings, 52 pairs of earrings, 70 necklaces, 30 pendants and 52 bracelets — between the two stores.

Hernandez’s attorney did not immediately respond to McClatchy News’ request for comment April 15.

Hernandez is a U.S. Marine, the constable’s office told KHOU.

“He completed boot camp in 2023,” Precinct 4 Capt. Jonathan Zitzmann told KHOU. “With that job, there’s an expectation that you are held to a higher standard and certainly not in the business of conducting really egregious crimes.”

Hernandez did not disclose his military affiliation when he was arrested, according to KRIV.

“He was being taken into custody and his dog tags fell out. He did tell us he was in the U.S. military,” Constable Mark Herman told KRIV.

Most of the stolen jewelry was recovered, according to deputies, but the “last few pieces” still need to be located.

Hernandez is scheduled to appear in court May 28.


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