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Route driver accused of stealing money from greeting cards

AUSTIN — A 47-year-old route driver accused of stealing money from greeting cards will enter his plea next week in Mower County District Court.

Doyle Dean Tarrence of Spring Valley faces one felony charge of mail theft and a misdemeanor charge of driving after revocation. He is scheduled to enter his plea Jan. 26. Tarrence is contracted by the U.S. Postal Service and is not employed by the postal service.

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

Complaints kept coming in after investigators got involved, according to the complaint, with one man reporting lottery cards stolen from a card he sent to a friend.

Tarrence was pin-pointed as the carrier in the area in which 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. 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 According to court documents, his license was revoked on Sept. 30, 2011, for failing to provide insurance.