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Detectives believe there are more victims of jewelry theft by the suspect.
Jason B. Russell
1906 Pepperwood Place
Grand Theft Third Degree (5 counts)
Dealing In Stolen Property (6 counts)
False Information On Pawnbroker Form (6 counts)
Hillsborough County Sheriff’s detectives today filed more felony charges against a former hospice service employee for stealing jewelry from elderly victims’ homes.
Jason B. Russell, DOB 11/12/82, was arrested at the Sheriff’s District IV patrol headquarters around 1 p.m. The suspect was charged with 17 felonies, including grand theft, dealing in stolen property and providing false information to a pawn broker.
Russell was first arrested for stealing from hospice patients on September 22, 2010.
Sheriff’s Detective Mike Massimei continued to investigate, and additional victims came forward after they saw news reports about Russell’s arrest and his thefts while employed by Lifepath Hospice.
The number of victims is now six. The suspect made statements that there are perhaps dozens more victims he stole from while working for the hospice service. Detectives are actively pursuing other leads on other cases.
The new charges include a case where the suspect stole a beloved 1965 University of Florida class ring from an elderly Valrico man. Detectives located that ring and have returned it to the victim.
In another theft case, the suspect swiped about $15,000 in jewelry from an elderly widow in Riverview. Detectives located the jewelry at a pawn shop in Seffner; however, the pawn shop is requiring the woman to pay $2,100 to get her jewelry. The victim, who lives alone and is on a fixed income, cannot afford to get her precious jewelry, including her wedding ring and her late husband’s wedding band.
Anyone with information on the suspect or who may think they have been a victim can contact the Sheriff’s Office at (813) 247-8200.