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Car Thief Arrested

For Immediate Release : Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office
Release Number: 23-204



Car Thief Arrested

UPDATE: November 15, 2023

The Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office has arrested the individual responsible for the theft of a Jeep Compass that occurred on October 28, 2023.

With assistance from the public, detectives were able to identify James Supple, 22, as the person responsible for the heist.

"I'm very grateful to our community for assisting with this auto theft case," said Sheriff Chad Chronister. "Our newly created Auto Theft Task Force, launched in July, has hit the ground running here in our region and they're already making a tremendous impact."

The Auto Theft Task Force recovered the stolen vehicle at the Tampa Inn located at 2901 E. Busch Blvd. Upon making contact with Supple, detectives also made contact with two other subjects that were in possession of narcotics.

Supple was arrested and charged with:

  • Grand Theft Motor Vehicle

  • Burglary of Unoccupied Structure

  • Criminal Mischief $1,000 or More

  • Violation of Probation (VOP), Grand Theft Motor Vehicle (X5)

  • VOP Burglary (X4)

  • VOP Possession of Personal Identification

Cornilous Merritt, 33, was charged with:

  • Possession of Controlled Substance with Intent to Sell/Deliver (Meth)

  • Possession of Controlled Substance (Meth)

  • Possession of Controlled Substance (Fentanyl)

  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

  • Warrant - FTA - Operating While Driver’s License Suspended/Canceled/Revoked - First Conviction

  • VOP - 13 counts

    • Marijuana - Sale/Manufacturing/Delivery (1 count)

    • Possession of Controlled Substance (9 counts)

    • Trafficking Amphetamine 28-200gm (3 counts)

Alicia Kern, 22, was charged with:

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance (Meth)

  • Possession of a Controlled Substance (Cannabinoids)

  • Possession of Drug Paraphernalia

This investigation is ongoing; any updates will come from the Public Affairs Office.

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