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Mail carrier thief gets probation for stealing holiday card money

A mail carrier who stole holiday cards and money inside them was sentenced Friday in Mower County Court.

Doyle Dean Tarrence, 47, was convicted of one felony count of mail theft and sentenced to three years’ supervised probation and 80 hours of community service. Tarrence was a route driver contracted by the U.S. Postal Service, not employed by the postal service.

Court documents say Lyle Postmaster Wendy Murphy received four complaints of money and lottery tickets missing from greeting cards in the Lyle area in October 2011.

An inspector with the U.S. Postal Service planted three money-filled cards in the mail. None of the cards reached their destination with the money inside, according to the complaint. The investigator and police followed Tarrence on his route on Oct. 24 and questioned him, too. According to the court complaint, Tarrence admitted to stealing $200 to $300 from greeting cards over a four-month period. He said he needed the cash to pay bills.

—Amanda Lillie contributed to this report.