COLORADO SPRINGS — A man posing as a fake realtor was arrested by police on July 15 for stealing thousands of dollars worth of jewelry at open house events from across the state.

In July 2022, CSPD identified a crime pattern occurring at open house events throughout the Front Range. Law enforcement found that a man was posing as a realtor representing an out-of-state client. The suspect would then proceed to steal items from the homes.

CSPD identified the suspect as 37-year-old Brandon Hernandez. An arrest warrant was issued for Hernandez for the charges of Theft, a class four felony (due to the value of the items stolen).

Many of the items stolen were high-value pieces of jewelry. The four identified investigations totaled approximately $25,000 in losses, primarily involving open house events and stolen jewelry.

As of July 26, investigators believe there are more than 30 cases that could also be connected to this suspect. The thefts date back to August 2021 but police say there could be more. The estimated cost of stolen property is up to $200,000 but only about half of the cases have reported the value of items stolen. The victims span across the state from more than a dozen jurisdictions.

37-year-old Brandon Hernandez

Investigations revealed that Hernandez already had approximately 13 outstanding warrants, including 9 active felony arrest warrants, which include:

  • Burglary
  • Theft
  • Larceny
  • Failure to Comply
  • Failure to Appear
  • Dangerous Drug offenses.

These arrest warrants had been issued from several counties in Colorado, including El Paso, Weld, Denver, Douglas, Arapahoe, Boulder, and Jefferson.

On July 15, police arrested Hernandez in Morrison, CO. with the assistance of the Morrison Police Department. He was taken into custody and transported to the Jefferson County Jail. At the time of his arrest, he was in possession of suspected Fentanyl and several pieces of suspected stolen jewelry.

Officers executing a search warrant on Hernandez’s residence seized approximately $50,000 worth of suspected stolen jewelry.

“We put our jewelry underneath some clothes in a drawer in our closet, and he must have rummaged through there,” victim Thomas Adams said.

Sandra and Thomas Adams never thought a potential home buyer or realtor would steal from them at their open house in Colorado Springs. They had four bracelets and five rings taken, an estimated value of more than $3,000. Many of the items were nearly 40 years old and from foreign countries, they visited like Turkey, Egypt, and Thailand.

“You feel violated I mean, it was bad enough having 20 showings in two days and then have an open house and 20 more people come to your house,” Adams added. “Those were made specifically for me by my wife before she was my wife. So it’s something personal. I mean, the monetary loss is one thing, but just a personal violation. It’s incomprehensible. I can’t and I can’t really say it in words.”

Detective Sgt. Gary Tedeschi said Hernandez admitted the thefts were because he was fueling his fentanyl addition.

“He’s simply looking for high dollar valuable items that he can turn around and sell or trade for drugs,” Sgt. Tedeschi explained.

His advice for homeowners is to document what you own and take pictures. Also, when you have new guests or strangers walking through your home to lock up your valuables.

“Any time you have an open house, you should always lock up all of your valuables and not just hiding them in places, because unfortunately, the criminals know to look in those hidden places,” Tedeschi added. “Even if that’s a refrigerator, criminals will know. People hide their stuff in weird spots. Lock it up. If you don’t lock it up. If anyone can come through there and do something at any time.

Police said Hernandez has a lengthy criminal history for similar offenses, including providing false information to pawn brokers. He provided investigators with admissions of his crimes and said he stole jewelry to support his use of fentanyl.

“Unfortunately, it is another example of how the fentanyl bill fails to properly address the fentanyl epidemic in our state,” Chief Adrian Vasquez stated.

If you believe you were a victim of Hernandez’s fake realtor scam, please contact your local law enforcement agency.

If you reside in Colorado Springs, this is still an active investigation and anyone with information or who is a witness to this investigation is asked to call CSPD at (719) 444-7000; or if you wish to remain anonymous, you may call the Crime Stoppers Tip Line at (719) 634-STOP (7867) or 1-800-222-8477.

Read the full arrest affidavit below.