Deputies: Hundreds of victims in mail theft operation - FOX 13 News

Deputies: Hundreds of victims in mail theft operation

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Pasco County Sheriff's deputies unveiled Thursday the largest mail theft they say they can remember.

The theft allegedly hit 900 people across four counties in the Tampa Bay-area.

Deputies say Brian Chipman opened mailboxes and took whatever he could: nearly 3,000 pieces of mail.

Raul Desmaris of New Port Richey, who lives near Rte. 19, where Chipman was taken into custody, couldn't believe the specifics.

"It's shocking," said Desmaris. "It doesn't make me feel too secure."

The counties impacted are Hernando, Hillsborough, Pasco and Pinellas.

If Chipman did take the mail, what did he do with it?

Detectives spent five days cataloguing victims' names, and are cross-checking that list with any complaints law enforcement has gotten across the area for credit card fraud, identity theft or stolen gift cards.

"It really bothers me. You can tell by the way I'm talking it's something terrible to do," said Desmaris.

Deputies have to work with numerous agencies and financial institutions to prove any loss.

In the meantime, you should check statements, credit reports and ask loved ones whether they sent gifts you might not have gotten.

"Make sure there's no checks drawn against your account that you didn't write. Maybe small amounts you may not have thought of. Really comb through this documents," said Pasco County Sheriff's deputy Justin Ross.

A relative told us Chipman recently left his job at a Burger King after moving from Texas to start fresh.

He's charged with fraud.

But it's not only financial loss Raul is worried about.

"Loved ones may be sending them mail that they want," said Desmaris. "I'm sorry, I'm getting old, I'm very sentimental."

Deputies say some of the mail was opened, and some of it unopened. They say they'll spend the coming months trying to figure out what did he actually get away with.

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