Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Brothers stalked Pasco retirees, mugged them, deputies say

Richard Parkin, 89, was attacked in his garage Feb 12.


Richard Parkin, 89, was attacked in his garage Feb 12.

NEW PORT RICHEY — Leonard Kornfield remembers his wife told him not to go to Walmart that day. She had a bad hunch about it.

It was just before 1 p.m. Jan. 9. He needed topsoil for his garden. The 73-year-old did his shopping at the Walmart on State Road 54. Kornfield was wheeling his shopping cart back to the cart coral when he saw the other man.

He said the man wore a black T-shirt and stood about 15 feet away, smoking a cigarette, watching Kornfield. The man began walking toward him, then broke into a run. Kornfield said the man was on him before he could react.

The man grabbed him, then used his other hand to grab Kornfield's 14-karat gold necklace and yank it off of him, breaking the clasp. Kornfield said the man shoved him to the ground, where the pavement tore open his elbow, knuckles and knees.

The man, who deputies say was Justin Edward Herc, 22, dashed away to a nearby Hess gas station where his brother, Jacob Alan Herc, waited.

As he lay in the parking lot, Kornfield said he yelled the only thing he could think of: "I hope you die this year!"

The Gucci necklace had been a gift from his wife on their 30th anniversary. He recently had it appraised at $3,375. Deputies say it turned up in a pawn shop's database 50 minutes later.

• • •

On Feb. 12, Richard Parkin had just arrived home from shopping at the Publix on Sunray Drive in Holiday.

The 89-year-old was unloading groceries from the trunk of his car, parked in his garage with the door open. He was easing the bags into his walker to take them inside when he felt a whap on the back of his neck, then a yank. Another sharp yank on his wrist. He caught a glimpse of the man — who deputies say was Jacob Herc, 25 — as he ran away.

Parkin went inside to call 911. It wasn't until he was looking at the phone in his right hand that he noticed his 18-karat gold bracelet was missing from that wrist. He felt where his gold crucifix necklace should have been tucked under his shirt. It was gone too.

Deputies say Jacob Herc ran to a red Ford Explorer. His brother picked him up and they drove away.

• • •

Parkin and Kornfield identified the Herc brothers in photo lineups. The brothers were arrested Monday. Jacob Herc was charged with robbery, battery on a person 65 or older, burglary with assault, robbery by sudden snatching and dealing in stolen property. He remained in jail Tuesday on $175,000 bail.

Justin Herc was charged with robbery by sudden snatching, battery on a person 65 or older and possession of a controlled substance after, reports state, a deputy found hydromorphone on him. He remained in jail Tuesday on $12,000 bail.

Deputies believe the Herc brothers followed at least one other senior citizen home to rob that person and are still working on the investigation.

Kornfield never got his necklace back. He said pawn shop employees melted the gold before deputies were able to contact them. A retired school teacher from Brooklyn, he said he had never been robbed until this year.

Parkin, whose necklace was a Christmas gift from his granddaughter and bracelet was a gift from his girlfriend, said his jewelry is still being held as evidence.

"Why me?" he said he would ask his assailant. "I made it through four campaigns in Europe in WWII, and I've lived for 90 years, and I get mugged by a punk."

Alex Orlando can be reached at or (727) 869-6247.

Brothers stalked Pasco retirees, mugged them, deputies say 03/05/13 [Last modified: Tuesday, March 5, 2013 8:46pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Video: Rays Souza on that oh-so-bad dive, and reaction from Twins fans


    What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking when he made that oh-so-bad dive for a ball in the seventh inning Friday? Well, we'll let him tell you ...

  2. What was Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. thinking on that comically bad dive?


    What could Rays RF Steven Souza Jr. been thinking in the seventh inning Friday when he dove for a ball and came up yards short?

    Actually, he insisted after all the laughing, teasing and standing ovation from the Twins fans was done, it was a matter of self-preservation.

  3. Judge tosses life sentences for D.C. sniper Lee Boyd Malvo


    McLEAN, Va. — A federal judge on Friday tossed out two life sentences for one of Virginia's most notorious criminals, sniper Lee Boyd Malvo, and ordered Virginia courts to hold new sentencing hearings.

    A federal judge has tossed out two life sentences for D.C. sniper shooter Lee Boyd Malvo. [Associated Press, 2004]
  4. Zbigniew Brzezinski, President Carter's national security adviser, dies


    Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.

    Zbigniew Brzezinski, former national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter, participates in Senate Foreign Relations Committee hearing on Capitol Hill on March 5, 2009, in Washington, D.C. [Photo by Mark Wilson/Getty Images]
  5. USF eliminated by UCF in AAC baseball; Florida, FSU, Miami win


    CLEARWATER — Roughly 16 hours after a ninth-inning collapse against East Carolina in the American Athletic Conference's double-elimination baseball tournament, USF returned to Spectrum Field presumably set for a reboot.

    It simply got booted instead.

    ’NOLES win: Tyler Holton gets a hug from Drew Carlton after his strong eight innings help Florida State beat Louisville.