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Antonio Pleads Guilty to Jewelry Heist

Chantilly man stole from his employer.

A Chantilly man accused of stealing jewelry from the K mart in which he worked as a janitor pleaded guilty last week in Fairfax County Circuit Court.

He is Hector Jose Antonio, 30, of 13283-B Leafcrest Lane, No. 101, in the Shenandoah Crossing apartments. And he was convicted Tuesday, Jan. 23, of grand larceny and larceny with intent to sell.

Police Det. Robert LeBlanc detailed the case against him in an Oct. 10 affidavit for a warrant to search for stolen items in Antonio's home. On that date, LeBlanc began investigating an Oct. 7 theft at the K mart at 4231 John Marr Drive in Annandale.

HE WROTE that Eric Elster, K mart's district loss-prevention manager for that store, informed him of a discrepancy discovered Oct. 9 in that location. An audit of the store's jewelry section revealed several jewelry pieces unaccounted for and not sold.

An internal investigation and a review of the store's video-surveillance records followed. And LeBlanc wrote that the Oct. 7 surveillance records "clearly reflected a member of the night cleaning crew using a screwdriver to breech the doors of the jewelry case and remove items of jewelry without permission or tendering payment."

The detective learned which items were missing, and Antonio was identified as the person on the video. Then — with translation help from another store employee — on Oct. 10, Elster confronted Antonio about the theft, and the Chantilly man admitted to stealing the jewelry.

LeBlanc wrote that Antonio "confessed to having stolen about $50,000 worth of jewelry from K mart on at least four different occasions, and [he] provided a written statement [with the details]." He also had an explanation for his actions.

Upon further questioning, Antonio told the detective that "he had been selling the jewelry through street transactions and subsequently sending the cash proceeds to his sick parents in Mexico."

THAT SAME day, police charged him with two counts of grand larceny and two counts of larceny with intent to sell. And when they executed the warrant Oct. 12, they seized some $8,210 worth of jewelry from Antonio's home. These items included several gold rings with diamonds, a gold ring with a ruby, three gold-link bracelets and gold earrings.

Two of the charges against Antonio were later dropped, but two went forward and, on Jan. 16, the grand jury indicted him on both of them. Then last Tuesday, Jan. 23, he entered his pleas in Circuit Court.

Before accepting them, however, Judge David Stitt made sure Antonio was pleading guilty freely and voluntarily and because he was indeed guilty of the crimes with which he's accused. Stitt then set his sentencing for April 6.