Michael Joseph Shipton was eventually arrested on Wednesday, Jan. 12 following a series of events that unfolded after a Hernando Sheriff’s Office Intelligence Unit located him in the area of Lucky Lane in Spring Hill. On Dec. 28, a warrant was issued for Shipton, 31, for mail theft, which led to a tip that the suspect was driving a white Toyota Corolla bearing a U.S. Army tag. Days later detectives learned that Shipton spray painted the vehicle black.
On Tuesday, Jan. 11, Detectives from Property Crimes spotted a car matching the description of Shipton’s vehicle and were able to verify that Shipton, whose driver’s license was reportedly suspended, was driving near the Hernando County Detention Center. The officers attempted a traffic stop however the suspect fled the scene by driving through a retention pond and running several cars off the road at which point the detectives paused their pursuit.
The following day, Wednesday, around 1:30 p.m., Hernando detectives caught up to Shipton at a residence in Big Tree Mobile Home Park on Broad Street in Brooksville. Shipton, who was reportedly behind the steering wheel of a vehicle backed under the carport of a residence, ignored the verbal commands of detectives who had exited their vehicle to approach him. Suddenly, Shipton started the vehicle and accelerated from the driveway, steering toward one of the officers at the scene. The officer was able to avoid being struck however no pursuit was initiated since people, including children, were observed walking close by. Shipton fled in the vehicle at a high rate of speed.
Minutes later, according to the Sheriff’s Office report, the vehicle was spotted entering Pasco County and the information was relayed to the Pasco Sheriff’s Office. Around 2 p.m. the vehicle was spotted in the area of Shady Hills in Pasco County by a Pasco Sheriff’s Office K-9 Deputy. The Pasco deputy attempted a traffic stop, however, once again, Shipton fled, driving at a high rate of speed. The Pasco deputy engaged in a vehicle pursuit that wound up in Hernando County where Shipton struck a mailbox on Newhope Road in Spring Hill then fled on foot before he was apprehended by the Pasco K-9 Deputy.
Jaylynn Renee Matusiak, 18, reported to be Shipton’s girlfriend, was in the passenger seat of the vehicle and 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 inmate at the Hernando County Detention Center who reported the vehicle as stolen.
In addition to the incidents above, HCSO Economic Crimes Unit was also actively investigating Shipton for fraud. On 12-17-2021, Shipton is alleged to have passed several counterfeit bills during the private purchase of a cell phone from a Hernando County citizen.
Shipton was charged as follows:
(Hernando County charges) – Felony Petit Theft – Grand Theft Auto – Fleeing/Eluding – Driving with a Suspended License – Aggravated Assault on a Law Enforcement Officer
– Fleeing/Eluding – Driving with a Suspended License – Uttering a Forged Bill (four counts) – Theft
(Pasco County charges) – Fleeing/Eluding – 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 from an existing (warrant) and transported to the Department of Juvenile Justice in Ocala on a no-bond status.