GREENWOOD – Nearly a decade after four men cut holes in the roof and stole nearly $1 million in merchandise from a popular Greenwood jewelry store, one suspect is behind bars in Indiana to face charges.
36-year-old Osniel Labrada-Guillen, of Hialeah, Florida, was booked into the Johnson County jail on felony burglary and theft charges and could face up to 16 years in prison if convicted.
Investigators believe Guillen was one of four men who disabled alarms at the store and cut holes in the roof and ceiling in order to gain entry and may have gotten away if not for a black mask found by a UPS driver not far from the store.
“That mask was vital in this investigation in identifying at least one of the suspects,” said Greenwood Police Deputy Chief, Jay Arnold.
A DNA sample taken from the mask matched a sample taken from a similar rooftop burglary in Georgia in 2010. Even with the matching DNA samples, detectives still didn’t know who they were looking for until Guillen was arrested in Florida on a traffic offense in 2014.
“So the arrest in Florida, when they collected his DNA, matched the DNA collected in Georgia and in Indiana,” Arnold said.
Guillen was extradited to Cobb County, Georgia and was convicted in 2015 of the burglary there. Guillen had just finished serving his prison sentence in Georgia when Johnson County authorities learned he was set to be released at the end of the year. On the day after Christmas, Johnson County Sheriff’s Deputies made the drive to Georgia to pick Guillen up and bring him back to Indiana.
“Mr. Guillen is back here from out of state and we’ll have our opportunity here in Johnson County to try and hold him accountable for what he did in our community,” said Johnson County Prosecutor Joe Villanueva.
Investigators also learned through fingerprint matching that Guillen had taken many of the stolen items to a pawn shop in Hileah, Florida one day after the Greenwood break-in.
“You can drive there in about 18 to 20 hours,” Arnold said.
Nearly a decade after the crime, the arrest is welcome news for store owner Bob McGee.
“It tore me up,” McGee said. “I was literally, physically, emotionally sick for probably the better part of six months.”
McGee says his business just recovered financially this year. And beyond that, many of the stolen items were family heirlooms that 47 customers had brought into the store for repair.
“Wedding presents or bridal sets or family jewelry that you can’t replace,” McGee said. “And we literally cried 47 times because of the 47 customers, and that aged me.”
Guillen was being held in the Johnson County jail on $100,000 bond. McGee hopes he gets a chance to face him in court.
“I’d like to discuss with him how that makes him feel, knowing how many lives he’s impacted,” he said.
Meanwhile, the investigation remains open with three other suspects still at large. Anyone with information can contact the Greenwood Police Department.