Hillsborough County
Chad Chronister, Sheriff
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    Release Number: 15-312

    • For Immediate Release:
    • Public Information Office of Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
    • June 18, 2015
    • Contact Person:
    • Public Information Office : piooffice@hcso.tampa.fl.us
    • 813/247-8060

    Suspect Arrested In Metal Theft Investigation

    Detectives discovered that Roderick Branfield had conducted over 40 transactions at local scrap yards.
    • Monday
    • June 15, 2015
    • Time: 12:00 AM
    • Sweetbay Supermarket
    • 1101 Bloomingdale Avenue
    • Valrico, Florida


    Thomas Aaron
    DOB: 11/14/63
    10716 E. Broadway Ave.
    Valrico, FL


    • Grand Theft Third Degree
    • Criminal Mischief
    • False Information on Secondary Metals Recycler Form (x39)
    • Fraudulent Use of Personal Information of Deceased


    On June 15, 2015, detectives with the District 4 Investigations Unit arrested Thomas Aaron in conjunction with a metal theft investigation.

    On June 7, 2015, the vacant Sweetbay grocery store located 1101 Bloomingdale Avenue was targeted by a male suspect. He accessed the roof of the business and began dismantling the A/C units. During the incident, a security guard responded to the business in response to a pressure alarm from the business's HVAC system. Upon arrival, he encountered the male suspect on the roof that was throwing A/C parts off the roof. The security guard called him down from the roof and questioned what he was doing. The suspect told the guard that he was hired to do demolition on the building. He then gave the guard a fictitious name, Roderick Branfield and left the scene in a maroon Chevy Trailblazer.

    Detectives ran the name Roderick Branfield and it was discovered that Roderick Branfield had conducted over 40 transactions at local scrap yards. Further investigation revealed that Roderick Branfield had been deceased since 2014.

    Detectives were able to obtain fingerprints from the scrap transactions as well as different license plate numbers. The prints were analyzed by the HCSO ID unit and they were able to match the prints to Thomas Aaron. Photos of the transactions were compared to HCSO booking photos of Thomas Aaron. It was apparent that this was the individual that was using the identification of Roderick Branfield.

    On June 15, 2015, detectives located and arrested Thomas Aaron. During the interview, he confessed to the incident at Sweetbay. He also admitted to using the identification of Roderick Branfield at local scrap yards. He was using the deceased person's identification to conceal his identity because he knew that the metal he was turning in was possibly stolen. Thomas Aaron was charged with over 40 felonies as a result of the interview and was taken to the Orient Road Jail.

  • Sheriff Chad Chronister
    Sheriff Chad Chronister
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