SPRING HILL, FL – On Tuesday, December 28 2021, a warrant for Michael Joseph Shipton, 31, was issued on a charge of Felony Petit Theft for mail theft in the area of Lucky Lane in Spring Hill. According to authorities, last week, information was received that Shipton was currently driving a white Toyota Corolla bearing a U.S. Army tag. The Intelligence Unit began searching for Shipton and the vehicle. A few days later, detectives learned that Shipton had spray-painted the vehicle black.
On Tuesday, January 11, 2022, Property Crimes Detectives were traveling south on Broad Street, near the area of Southern Hills Boulevard, when they observed a vehicle matching the description of Shipton’s vehicle. Detectives were able to verify that Shipton was the driver of the vehicle. Due to his warrant and having a suspended Florida driver’s license, a traffic stop was attempted on Spring Hill Drive, near the Hernando County Detention Center.
Shipton fled from the traffic stop, driving through a retention pond and running several cars off the roadway. Hernando County Detectives did not pursue Shipton. On Wednesday, January 11, at approximately 1:21 p.m., again Shipton was observed by detectives at a residence in the Big Tree Mobile Home Park, located at 6130 Broad Street in Brooksville.
According to detectives, Shipton was sitting in the driver’s seat of the vehicle that was backed under the carport of a residence. Detectives exited their vehicle and gave Shipton several verbal commands to exit the vehicle. At that time, Shipton started the vehicle and accelerated from the driveway directly toward one of the members of the Intelligence Unit, causing him to make an evasive maneuver to avoid being struck by the vehicle. A pursuit was not initiated due to several people with young children walking in the area.
Shipton fled in the vehicle, traveling south on Broad Street at a high-rate of speed. The vehicle was spotted several minutes later entering into Pasco County. This information was relayed to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. At approximately 1:59 p.m., the vehicle was located in the area of Shady Hills in Pasco County by a Pasco Sheriff’s Office K-9 Deputy, who attempted a traffic stop. Shipton again fled from the traffic stop, and the Pasco Sheriff’s Office engaged in a vehicle pursuit.
The pursuit continued north and eventually entered Hernando County, where Shipton crashed the vehicle into a mailbox on Newhope Road in Spring Hill. Following the crash, Shipton fled on foot but was quickly apprehended by the Pasco Sheriff’s Office K-9 Deputy.
Shipton’s girlfriend, Jaylynn Renee Matusiak, 18, was located in the passenger seat of the vehicle. She had an active juvenile pickup order for Grand Theft Auto. Although Matusiak is currently 18, the offense was committed when she was a juvenile.
The vehicle was registered to an individual currently incarcerated in the Hernando County Detention Center. Contact was made with the owner at which time he reported the vehicle as stolen. In addition to the incidents above, HCSO Economic Crimes Unit was also actively investigating Shipton for fraud. According to detectives, on December 17 2021, Shipton passed several counterfeit bills during the private purchase of a cell phone from a Hernando County citizen.
Within Hernando County, Shipton was charged with felony petit theft, grand theft auto, two counts of fleeing and eluding, two counts of driving with a suspended license, aggravated assault on a law enforcement officer, four counts of uttering a forged bill and theft.
Within Pasco County, Shipton was charged with fleeing and eluding as well as resisting arrest without violence. Shipton was transported to the Hernando County Detention Center where he is being held in lieu of a $65,150 bond. Matusiak was charged with grand theft auto and transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Ocala on a no bond status.