A 26-year-old Silver Springs man was arrested after he admitted to stealing a pickup truck, trailer, and utility task vehicle.
On Tuesday, shortly before 7 a.m., a Marion County Sheriff’s Office deputy responded to a local residence in reference to the theft of several vehicles. Upon arrival, the deputy made contact with a male victim who stated that his pickup truck, trailer, and side-by-side UTV had been stolen.
According to the victim, he went to bed at around 8 p.m. on Monday. When he woke up in the morning, he realized that the vehicles and trailer were missing. The MCSO report indicated that the missing items were a 2016 white Ford flatbed pickup truck ($100,000 value), 2022 Triple Crown trailer ($4,000 value), and white Polaris Ranger UTV ($20,000 value).
The deputy investigated the area and then left the residence. Shortly after 10 a.m., the victim contacted MCSO and advised that the theft suspect, later identified as Matthew James Hanshaw, had returned to the incident location. An MCSO corporal responded to the victim’s residence.
Upon arrival at the victim’s home, the corporal made contact with Hanshaw’s mother. She advised that Hanshaw had shown up at her residence with the truck, trailer, and UTV. She stated that Hanshaw only visits her on occasion, and he had arrived earlier in the day to give one of his relatives a ride on the UTV.
According to Hanshaw’s mother, she knew that the vehicles and trailer did not belong to Hanshaw, and she asked for him to show her where he had gotten the items. She stated that Hanshaw got into her vehicle and led her to the victim’s home.
Hanshaw’s mother told the corporal that Hanshaw had claimed that “an elderly man from The Villages had given him the items.” When she arrived with Hanshaw at the victim’s residence, the victim stepped outside and “became irate with them.” At this point, she stated that she learned that the vehicles and trailer had been stolen.
The corporal, along with an MCSO deputy, responded to the 12000 block of SE 96th Avenue and located the victim’s truck, trailer, and UTV.
Hanshaw was transported to MCSO’s South Marion District Office for an interview. After being read his Miranda rights, he stated that he had gone to the victim’s residence three times without the victim’s knowledge.
According to Hanshaw, he first visited the victim’s residence on Sunday at approximately 11 a.m., and he entered through a gate, drove around on the property, and observed the items he wanted to steal. He stated that he later returned, but the victim’s girlfriend came outside, so he left the area.
Hanshaw told investigators that he returned on Monday, between 7 p.m. and 8 p.m., and he drove through the gate with another unknown individual that he refused to identify. He advised that the unknown individual drove his vehicle back to his residence on E Silver Springs Boulevard.
Hanshaw stated that he backed the victim’s pickup truck to the trailer, loaded the UTV onto the trailer, and then drove back to his residence.
On Tuesday, at approximately 8:30 a.m., Hanshaw stated that he left his residence and drove the stolen truck, with the trailer hauling the UTV attached to it, to his mother’s residence. He admitted that he told her that an elderly man in The Villages had given him the vehicles and trailer, and he confirmed that he willingly drove her back to the victim’s residence.
When asked what he thought was going to happen when he arrived at the victim’s home, Hanshaw laughed and stated that was “a question for a higher power.” Hanshaw advised that he was “in shock” and “froze” when the victim stepped outside the residence shortly after his arrival.
Hanshaw was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where he is currently being held on $16,000 bond. He is facing felony charges for grand theft of a motor vehicle (two counts), unarmed burglary of an unoccupied conveyance (two counts), and grand theft (over $300 but less than $5,000).
A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.