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Two Arrested in Chop Shop Operation

For Immediate Release : Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Release Number: 23-150



Two Arrested in Chop Shop Operation

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has arrested two men in connection with a chop shop operation in Hillsborough, Polk, Hernando, and Sarasota counties.
During the investigation, detectives unearthed numerous stolen items in new home construction sites and storage facilities. The stolen possessions include: 

  • Kubota Skid Steer Loader (valued at $100,000)
  • 22 appliances
  • 90 pieces of stolen cabinetry
  • Assorted pre-hung doors 
"This operation dismantled not just a chop shop, but a network of criminal activity that spanned multiple counties," said Sheriff Chad Chronister"We remain committed to protecting our communities from those who seek to profit from theft.”

Jose Sardon, 35, has been charged with:
  • Grand Theft Second Degree
  • Operating a Chop Shop
  • Sell or Possess Vehicle with Altered Numbers
  • Possession of Motor Vehicle with VIN Plate Removed
  • Dealing In Stolen Property
 Lazaro Ruiz Ruiz, 52, has been charged with:
  • Grand Theft Second Degree During a State of Emergency
  • Tampering With Physical Evidence
This investigation is ongoing; any updates will come from the Public Affairs Office.

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