Pasco County, Florida -- Pasco County Sheriff's deputies arrested two brothers who they say were targeting elderly victims as they left stores and robbed them of their jewelry.
So far, Justin and Jacob Herc have been linked to two robberies on Jan. 9 and Feb. 12.
In the robbery on Jan. 8, a man, later identified as Justin Herc, approached the victim in the southwest corner of a New Port Richey Walmart parking lot and yanked off a 14K yellow gold linked chain, valued at around $2,000, from around his neck.
The snatching was so aggressive the 73-year-old man fell to the ground and suffered several abrasions and bruises as a result, according the police report. Herc then ran to a nearby Hess parking lot and fled in a red SUV.
On the afternoon of Feb. 12, a man later identified as Jacob Herc, approached the 89-year-old victim as he was unloading groceries at his home from the trunk of his car and snatched an 18K gold rope necklace and bracelet from the man. Herc was last seen running north on Woodcock Drive and getting into a red Ford Explorer. The snatching caused bruising to the man's neck and wrist.
A video given to police from the victim's neighbor showed Herc had followed the man home just before the incident. Deputies say another neighbor who witnessed the incident said he personally knew the suspect that drives the SUV and identified Jacob to police.
Once Jacob, 25, was arrested, deputies say he confessed to the crime. He was charged with robbery and battery on a person over 65. The items were later recovered at a pawn shop pawned by his brother Justin.
Justin, 22, was arrested with Jacob at their Holiday home on March 4. During his arrest, deputies found a vile of drugs, pills and a syringe in his pockets. He later confessed to deputies he said he stole the chain to use the money to pay bills and support his drug habit. In addition to strong arm robbery and battery on person over 65, he was charged with possession of a controlled substance.
Pasco County detectives say they believe there are more victims and are asking anyone who was a victim of these men to contact the Pasco County Sheriff's Office Crime Tips Line at 1-800-706-2488.