Authorities Capture Suspect in $1M Texas Jewelry Store Raid, Found in Palm Coast Hideout

Authorities Capture Suspect in $1M Texas Jewelry Store Raid, Found in Palm Coast Hideout

The Flagler County Sheriff’s Office reports that a guy was taken into custody in Palm Coast this week on suspicion of robbing a Texas jewelry store of over $1 million worth of jewelry.

According to deputies, Asdrubal Rodriguez, 35, had over $79,000 in cash and gold jewelry in his SUV when he was stopped over. These items were all seized during the Houston robbery.

Tuesday, just before six o’clock in the evening, deputies were called to the Palm Coast Parkway and I-95 area after Real Time Crime Center technology revealed the Maryland tag on a black Chevrolet Tahoe was linked to individuals thought to be involved in a violent armed robbery that occurred in Houston three days earlier.

The thieves, who were thought to be armed and dangerous, stole cash and jewels worth over $1 million during the theft.

The SUV was eventually located, according to deputies, at a Palm Coast parking lot off Kings Way, but the tag was obscured. According to deputies, the two guys ran a stop sign and departed the parking area after loading items into the SUV. After pursuing the car in multiple directions, deputies finally stopped them.

Rodriguez said deputies he had never received a driver’s license in the United States and that he did not possess a driver’s license from Cuba, where he is originally from.

After using FCSO’s Rapid-ID technology to confirm his identity, he was taken into custody for operating a vehicle without a license. To identify a person, Rapid-ID employs fingerprints that are on file.

Following the issuance of a search warrant, deputies reported discovering the gold and money.

Rodriguez then admitted, according to FCSO, to carrying out the jewelry store heist and to pepper-spraying and pistol-whipping the victims.

Rodriguez had an ICE Detainer obtained after ICE was alerted about the two guys, according to authorities.

Rodriguez has a $500 bond and is being held at the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility. When ICE failed to answer, the second man was taken off the site without being charged.

Rodriguez is currently being served with a warrant for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon, which Houston Police obtained on Wednesday.

According to the warrant, Rodriguez and another man entered the Bawa Jewelry store in Houston on Monday, March 11. Both the owner and the employee who was being questioned about a piece of jewelry were pepper-sprayed. The employee was also given a pistol whip, according to the warrant.

After stealing jewels valued at over a million dollars, the two men fled the establishment. Before fleeing the business, one of the robbers who pistol-whipped the employee unintentionally dropped his cell phone. The cell phone was seized by the police as evidence.

Both thieves did not disguise their faces during the entire incident, which was captured on store surveillance footage, according to the warrant.

The two men were seen by an outside security camera leaping from the business into a Nissan SUX that was being driven by a third individual. The identical Chevy SUV with Maryland license plates that Flagler County deputies later pulled over in Palm Coast was also shown on camera trailing the Nissan SUV.

Rodriguez admitted to detectives that he was brought in to help with the jewelry robbery, according to the affidavit for the arrest warrant. He said that his job was to bring a trash bag into the store and retrieve the valuables.

According to the warrant, Rodriguez informed detectives that the majority of the pilfered jewelry was sold to a buyer in Houston, and he was bringing the remaining pieces to someone in Miami along with the proceeds from the Houston jewelry sale.

When Rodriguez was shown a surveillance image of an armed robber without a mask inside the Bawa Jewelry store, he allegedly recognized himself and provided additional information about his involvement in the violent theft.

“Another criminal made the fatal mistake of coming to Flagler County not knowing that we work with our partners across the country,” Sheriff Rick Staly stated. “Our Major Case detectives are working with detectives in Houston for his connection to the jewelry store heist. We believe this robbery is part of a larger network of illegal immigrants committing crimes in America. I commend our deputies and the amazing professionals in the Real Time Crime Center and our Communications Center for helping bring this criminal to justice.”