Hillsborough County
Chad Chronister, Sheriff
  • News Releases are to be used for informational purposes only.
    Information provided should not be relied upon for any type of legal action.

    Release Number: 17-186 (17-155)

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • May 4, 2017
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Information Office : piocommandcenter@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8060

    Business Burglary

    Detectives arrest two suspects in the Ace Hardware burglary.
    • Friday
    • April 7, 2017
    • Time: 3:55 AM
    • Ace Hardware
    • 10415 Highway 39 South
    • Lithia, Florida

    Update May 4, 2017:

    On  May 3, 2017 detectives developed probable cause for the issuance of a search warrant at 1607 Carson White Lane in Ruskin. A search of the residence revealed:
    • 37 handguns (14 of which had serial numbers removed)
    • 2 rifles
    • A mask and gloves
    As a result of the investigation, Garrett Mitchell, DOB 11-7-96 and Christopher Jenke, DOB 5-5-83 were both arrested. Both were charged with Armed Burglary of a business and 46 counts of grand theft firearm. Mitchell was additional charged with 14 counts of possession of a firearm with an altered serial number.

    Of the 39 firearms recovered at the residence, 22 were confirmed stolen from Ace Hardware through serial number identification. Due to 14 of the firearms having the serial numbers removed, further investigation will be needed to confirm, although they are the same make/model/caliber as what was taken from the original burglary.


    Garrett Mitchell
    DOB: 11-7-96
    1607 Carson White Lane

    Christopher Jenke
    DOB: 5-5-83
    1127 Willis Road

    Previous News Release 17-155:

    On April 7, 2017 at approximately 3:55 am, unknown suspect(s) entered into the Ace Hardware located at 10415 Highway 39 South, by defeating a chain lock with a cutter (garden center entrance located on the north side of the business). Then smashing the glass door to the garden center, defeated another chain lock with a cutter which was securing the entrance. The suspects then proceeded to the rear of the store where the gun store is located. At this time it appears there were 40 handguns and one long rifle was removed. The suspect(s) then fled the scene in an unknown direction.

    Anyone with any information reference the suspect is asked to call the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office at 247-8200 or anyone with any information regarding the identity and whereabouts of this suspect and who wants to be eligible for a cash reward is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-873-TIPS (8477), report anonymously online at www.crimestopperstb.com or send a mobile tip using our P3 Tips Mobile application, which is a free download for iPhones, iPads and Droids. You must call Crime Stoppers first to be eligible for a reward.

    In addition, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) and National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms industry, have announced a reward for information leading to the arrest and conviction of those responsible for the theft of firearms from Ace Hardware, a federal firearms licensee (FFL), in Tampa, Fla. ATF is offering a reward of up to $5,000, which will be matched by the NSSF for a total reward of up to $10,000.

  • Sheriff Chad Chronister
    Sheriff Chad Chronister
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