Make us your home page
Instagram

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.

DOUGLAS R. CLIFFORD | Times

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 aorlando@tampabay.com 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

Loading...
  1. GOP's new repeal bill would likely leave millions more uninsured, analyses suggest

    Health

    WASHINGTON — The latest Republican bid to roll back the Affordable Care Act would likely leave millions of currently insured Americans without health coverage in the coming decades, and strip benefits and protections from millions more, a growing number of independent studies suggest.

    Vice President Mike Pence listens as President Donald Trump talks to reporters about the Graham-Cassidy health care bill during a meeting with Egyptian President Abdel-Fattah el-Sissi at the Palace Hotel during the United Nations General Assembly, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017, in New York. [Evan Vucci | Associated Press]
  2. Mueller casts broad net in requesting extensive records from Trump White House

    Nation

    WASHINGTON — The special counsel investigating Russian election meddling has requested extensive records and email correspondence from the White House, covering the president's private discussions about firing his FBI director and his response to news that the then-national security adviser was under …

    In a photograph provided by the Russian foreign ministry, President Donald Trump meets with Sergei Lavrov, left, the Russian foreign minister, and Sergey Kislyak, the Russian ambassador, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington, May 10, 2017. Special counsel Robert Mueller is interested in this meeting, where Trump said dismissing FBI Director James Comey had relieved "great pressure" on him, the New York Times reported on Sept. 20. [Russian Foreign Ministry via  New York Times]
  3. 'We will find our island destroyed': Hurricane Maria demolishes Puerto Rico

    News

    SAN JUAN — Sleepless Puerto Ricans awoke Wednesday knowing to expect a thrashing from the most ferocious storm to strike the island in at least 85 years. They met nightfall confronting the ruin Hurricane Maria left behind: engorged rivers, blown-out windows, sheared roofs, toppled trees and an obliterated electric …

    Rescue vehicles from the Emergency Management Agency stand trapped under an awning during the impact of Hurricane Maria, after the storm  hit the eastern region of the island, in Humacao, Puerto Rico, Wednesday, Sept. 20, 2017. The U.S. National Hurricane Center says Maria has lost its major hurricane status, after raking Puerto Rico. But forecasters say some strengthening is in the forecast and Maria could again become a major hurricane by Thursday. [Carlos Giusti | Associated Press]
  4. Obamacare repeal bill offers flexibility and uncertainty

    Politics

    The latest Republican proposal to undo the Affordable Care Act would grant states much greater flexibility and all but guarantee much greater uncertainty for tens of millions of people.

  5. Manafort offered to give Russian billionaire 'private briefings' on 2016 campaign, report says

    Nation

    Less than two weeks before Donald Trump accepted the Republican presidential nomination, his campaign chairman offered to provide briefings on the race to a Russian billionaire closely aligned with the Kremlin, the Washington Post reports.

    Paul Manafort, then Donald Trump's campaign chairman, talks to reporters on the floor of the Republican National Convention at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. [Associated Press]