Man accused in Texas jewelry store heist arrested in Palm Coast, FL

Asdrubal Rodriguez, 35,

Above : Asdrubal Rodriguez, 35

PALM COAST, Florida. – March 14, 2024 – A man who is accused of robbing a Texas jewelry store of a significant value in jewelry was arrested in Palm Coast this week, according to the Flagler County Sheriff’s Office (FCSO).

Deputies said when Asdrubal Rodriguez, 35, was pulled over, approximately $79,000 in cash and gold jewelry, all taken from the robbery in Houston, was found in his SUV.

Just before 6 p.m. on Tuesday, deputies responded to the area of Palm Coast Parkway and I-95 after technology from the Real Time Crime Center indicated the Maryland tag on a Black Chevrolet Tahoe came back tied to suspects believed to be involved in a violent armed robbery in Houston three days prior. In the heist, robbers took jewelry and cash valued at a significant monetary value and were believed to be armed and dangerous.

Deputies said they later found the SUV in a parking lot off Kings Way in Palm Coast, but the tag was obstructed. After two men loaded groceries into the SUV, they left the parking lot and ran a stop sign, deputies said. Deputies followed the vehicle for several turns and eventually pulled them over.

Rodriguez told deputies that he has never been issued a driver’s license in the United States, nor does he have a driver’s license from his home country of Cuba. FCSO used its Rapid-ID technology to verify his identity and he was arrested for driving without a license. Rapid-ID uses fingerprints on file to identify a person. After getting a search warrant, deputies said they found the gold and cash. According to FCSO, Rodriguez later confessed to committing the robbery at the jewelry store as well as pistol-whipping and spraying the victims with pepper spray during the robbery. ICE was contacted regarding both men and an ICE Detainer was obtained for Rodriguez, deputies said.

Rodriguez is being held at the Sheriff Perry Hall Inmate Detention Facility on a $500 bond. The second man was released from the scene with no charges after ICE declined to respond. On Wednesday, Houston Police got a warrant for aggravated robbery with a deadly weapon and the warrant is in the process of being served on Rodriguez.

The warrant states that on Monday, March 11, Rodriguez and another man entered a jewelry store in Houston. While asking an employee about a piece of jewelry, that employee and the owner were both pepper-sprayed. The warrant states that the employee was also pistol-whipped. The two men then grabbed jewelry worth a significant value and ran from the store. One of the robbers who pistol-whipped the employee accidentally dropped his cell phone before running from the store. Police confiscated the cell phone as evidence.

The entire incident was recorded on store surveillance video and according to the warrant, neither robber covered their face. An exterior security camera recorded the two men leaving the store and jumping into a Nissan SUX that was driven by a third person. Cameras also recorded the Nissan SUV being followed by the same Chevy SUV with Maryland tags that was later pulled over in Palm Coast by Flagler County deputies.

According to the arrest warrant affidavit, Rodriguez told detectives that he was recruited to assist in the jewelry heist. He said his role was to enter the store with a trash bag and take the jewelry. The warrant states that Rodriguez told investigators that most of the stolen jewelry was sold in Houston to a buyer and that he was delivering the remaining pieces of jewelry to and cash from the jewelry sold in Houston to someone in Miami. Rodriguez was shown a surveillance picture of an unmasked robber inside the jewelry store and he reportedly identified himself as the person in the picture and gave more details about his role in the violent heist.

“Another criminal made the fatal mistake of coming to Flagler County not knowing that we work with our partners across the country,” said Sheriff Rick Staly. “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.”

Click here to view video an read the original unredacted article written by Eric Avenier and Travis Gibson.

Please contact the Jewelers Security Alliance at 212-687-0328 or if you have any additional information about the suspects involved in this crime.

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