Hillsborough County
Chad Chronister, Sheriff
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    Information provided should not be relied upon for any type of legal action.

    Release Number: 17-646

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • November 1, 2017
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Information Office : piocommandcenter@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813-247-8060

    Four Juveniles Arrested For Car Hopping

    Three firearms were taken from unlocked vehicles.
    • Wednesday
    • October 18, 2017
    • Time: 12:00 AM
    • District IV

    Arrested:

    Elias Valdez Jr.
    DOB: 03/15/2001
    Wimauma, FL

    Charges:

    • 7 counts Burglary of a Conveyance
    • 2 counts Grand Theft of Motor Vehicle
    • 2 counts Grand Theft Firearm
    • 3 counts Grand Theft 3rd degree
    • 2 counts Armed Burglary of a Conveyance
    • 2 counts Minor in Possession of a Firearm
    • 3 counts Petit Theft
    • (along with several warrant charges)


    Elias Valdez has been arrested a total of 17 times for similar offenses.


    Corben Miller
    DOB: 04/01/2000
    Riverview, FL

    Charges:

    • 4 counts Burglary of a Conveyance
    • 1 count Grand Theft Motor Vehicle
    • 2 counts Armed Burglary of a Conveyance
    • 2 counts Grand Theft Firearm
    • 1 count Grand Theft 3rd degree
    • 2 counts Minor in Possession of a Firearm
    • 2 counts Petit Theft

    This is Corben Miller’s third arrest for similar offenses since June 2017.


    Jacob Roman
    DOB: 10/17/2001
    Apollo Beach, FL

    Charge:

    • 1 count Burglary of a Conveyance


    David Bustos
    DOB: 10/17/2000
    Apollo Beach, FL

    Charges:

    • 1 count Burglary of a Conveyance
    • 1 count Grand Theft of Motor Vehicle

     

    Details:

    Between the dates of October 18-29, 2017, numerous vehicle burglaries and auto thefts occurred within the District IV area of Hillsborough County, FL. In each of these cases, the vehicles were left unlocked with valuables in plain view. As a result of extensive investigative efforts, four juveniles were arrested.

    The vehicle thefts occurred during nighttime sprees, referred to as “car hopping.” During these incidents, the juveniles walked down residential streets and attempted to open car doors. Once inside the vehicle, the juveniles stole a range of items and, if the keys were in the vehicle, the vehicle itself.

    Car hopping” is a significant problem in south Hillsborough County due to the amount of large scale subdivisions creating easy opportunities for theft. This is further complicated by the number of citizens leaving their vehicles unlocked with keys, firearms and valuables left inside.

    The following statistics were gathered during the investigations:

    • Five stolen vehicles were believed to be tied to these subjects, which includes one from Pinellas County.
    • Three firearms were taken from unlocked vehicles within the District IV area, none have been recovered as of yet.
    • An unknown number of total vehicles were burglarized throughout the area. It is believed many occurred, but less than 10 were reported.
    Detectives want to remind the public to please lock your vehicles.  If you choose not to lock your vehicle, remember to remove any valuables including miscellaneous paperwork that could lead to identify theft.
  • Sheriff Chad Chronister
    Sheriff Chad Chronister
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