Pasco County authorities have linked nearly 3,000 pieces of stolen mail and more than 900 victims to a man arrested Tuesday in New Port Richey.
Brian Michael Chipman, 30, was arrested after a Pasco Sheriff’s Office detective observed him stopping his rental car in front of residences in the Gulf Harbors neighborhood without his lights on and his license plate removed.
After stopping the car, the detective found multiple pieces of mail, including check books, credit cards, bank statements, Social Security numbers, and other documents containing personal information.
Detectives said Chipman was likely looking for debit cards and planned to possibly file fraudulent tax returns.
The sheriff’s office identified more than 900 victims from the Tampa Bay area from about 3,000 pieces of stolen mail. Detectives are also working with law enforcement agencies from those areas to provide them with information on the victims.
In an attempt to find a connection to any past cases, detectives are looking at old incident reports for possible links. Chipman may be part of a group involved in identity theft, as well as check, credit card, and tax fraud, deputies said.
Chipman is charged with 13 counts of possessing stolen credit cards and one count of failing to return a hired vehicle. He is being held at the Land O’ Lakes Jail on a $10,000 bond.
This is Chipman’s 10th arrest since 2007. He was out on bond for a 2012 burglary case, which has yet to go to trial. That bond has been revoked due to this most recent arrest.