US Marine From Texas Arrested After $500k Alleged Jewelry Heist

After being named as a suspect in two separate thefts, a United States Marine was apprehended in Texas on Thursday, according to authorities.

After a series of high-stakes jewelry thefts in Harris County, 18-year-old Marcelo Hernandez was arrested, Constable Mark Herman of Harris County Precinct 4 reports that Hernandez was wanted for the theft of over $500,000 worth of gems from several jewelry stores.

It wasn’t long after Hernandez returned from Marine Corps boot camp that rumors of his alleged participation in illegal activities began to circulate. Supposedly, he broke into the Houston Premium Outlet Mall diamond stores with a sledgehammer, as seen on CCTV footage. Helzberg Diamonds and David Yurman were among the shops. Legend says he would often commit the heists after hours while clad in full black.

Police allegedly discovered three handguns, $11,000 in cash, and around $500,000 worth of jewelry—including diamonds and other precious stones—in his Mercedes-Benz GLA upon his arrest. Two counts of first-degree felony theft have been brought against the young Marine, who reportedly lives in the Cypress area with his parents.

While being taken into custody, the dog tags he was wearing fell off. According to police accounts, Herman told them that he was serving in the United States military. He had only just finished Marine Corps basic training, which was about a week before one of his thefts.

Constable Herman is concerned that Hernandez is engaged in other illicit enterprises in addition to the gem heists. The detectives are conducting ballistic tests on the firearms to see whether they have been involved in any other criminal acts.

While expressing his displeasure with the young man’s choices, Herman lamented that the kid had his entire life ahead of him. He couldn’t understand why he would wish to travel in a criminal direction or follow that particular path.