Mail carrier pleads guilty to stealing money from greeting cards

A Spring Valley route driver who stole money from greeting cards last year changed his plea to guilty Monday in Mower County Court.

Doyle Dean Tarrence, 47, pleaded guilty to one felony charge of mail theft. Tarrence is a route driver contracted by the U.S. Postal Service and is not employed by the postal service.

According to a court complaint, police became involved in October of 2011. Court documents state Lyle Postmaster Wendy Murphy received four complaints of money missing from greeting cards in the Lyle area.

The post office continued to receive complaints after a postal service investigator became involved, according to court documents, with one man reporting lottery cards stolen from a card he sent to a friend.

Tarrence was pin-pointed as the driver in the area where the thefts were being reported, so 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.

Tarrence also admitted he had been driving on a revoked license for about a month. According to court documents, his license was revoked on Sept. 30, 2011, for failing to provide insurance.

Tarrence will be sentenced on June 1.

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