Fraud Probe Uncovers Theft Of Credit, Bank Cards Across Tampa Bay

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TAMPA, FL — The Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a fraud scheme in which three people are accused of stealing personal identification from mailboxes as well as firearms, laptop computers, auto parts and lawn equipment from homes.

The Hillsborough County sheriff’s economic crimes section conducted an extensive investigation into bank fraud and mail theft cases throughout Hillsborough County, and detectives identified three people living at a home in 6000 block of 48th Street N., Tampa.

According to a news release from the sheriff’s office, on June 23, detectives executed a search warrant at the home and detectives found numerous forms of personal identification that had been stolen, including Social Security cards and credit cards.

Detectives also recovered stolen firearms and ammunition, stolen laptops, stolen auto parts, stolen lawn equipment and other items.

Hillsborough Sheriff Chad Chronister said the three people charged accumulated the items worth thousands of dollars over a period of several months.

“These suspects are linked to multiple cases not only here in Hillsborough County, but all across Tampa Bay,” said 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.”

The sheriff’s office arrested Benjamin Favata, 32, of North 48 Street on charges of fraudulent possession of personal identification information, vehicle burglary, petit theft and credit card theft. He was released from jail on a $3,500 surety bond.

Aaron Montgomery, 23, of Hillside Drive, Tampa, was arrested on charges of grand theft of a motor vehicle, driving with a suspended license, burglary of an unoccupied conveyance, grand theft and credit card fraud. He remains in jail on $18,600 bond.

Jacquelyne Heiser, 28, of North 48th Street was arrested on charges of trespassing and resisting an officer without violence. She is being held at the Hillsborough County Jail without bail.

The investigation is continuing, and more charges may be filed.


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