HILLSBOROUGH COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) — Hillsborough County deputies are investigating a fraud scheme in which they said suspects stole mail and had thousands of dollars of stolen items, including guns and laptops.
The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office said they arrested 32-year-old Benjamin Favata, 23-year-old Aaron Montgomery and 28-year-old Jacquelyne Heiser.
HCSO said detectives with their Economic Crimes Section conducted an investigation into bank fraud and mail theft cases throughout Hillsborough County.
Through their investigation they said they were able to get a search warrant for a home. They searched the home Thursday, where they found numerous forms of stolen personally-identifying information, including social security cards and credit cards, as well as thousands of dollars of stolen items. Those items included guns, ammunition, laptops, auto parts and lawn equipment.
“These suspects are linked to multiple cases not only here in Hillsborough County, but all across Tampa Bay,” said Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister. “They exploited their victims by going straight to their mailboxes, stealing their mail, and taking their personal information to access their bank accounts and spend their hard-earned money. It’s abhorrent behavior and here at HCSO, we will work to protect hardworking citizens from this type of exploitation.”
Favata faces fraudulent possession of personal identification information, vehicle burglary, petit theft, and credit card theft charges.
Montgomery faces charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle, driving with a suspended license, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, grand theft, and credit card fraud.
Heiser faces trespass and resisting an officer without violence charges.
The investigation is ongoing.