Deputies: Tampa man stole checks out of mailboxes in Highlands County, faces 140 felony charges

Posted at 10:43 AM, Oct 11, 2017

A Tampa man has been arrested and faces 140 felony charges in connection with stealing checks out of mailboxes in Highlands County. 

Chedrick Lavelle Oliver, 36, has already served three short prison terms for fraud-related convictions and was arrested again on Tuesday, October 3 by the Tampa Police Department. Tampa PD brought him to the Highlands County Jail on Thursday, October 5. He was booked on 137 counts of uttering a false instrument, one count of using the identity of 10-20 others without consent and one count of fraud to obtain property under $20,000. His bond has been set at $710,000. 

The investigation revealed that Oliver was reportedly taking outgoing mail out of mailboxes in the Golf Hammock area of Sebring between August 2016 and June 2017. Deputies say he would use the routing numbers on the checks to print new checks and then use them at Walmart stores in Marion, Hernando, Citrus, Sumter, Pasco, Pinellas, Hardee, Highlands, Polk and Hillsborough counties to buy goods. 

Oliver previously served six months in prison from 2004 to 2005, nearly eight months from 2009 to 2010 and thirteen months from 2013 to 2014, all on convictions for crimes similar to the charges he now faces. 

“This was solid investigative work by Det. Ritenour, who worked closely with the Attorney General’s Office of the Statewide Prosecutor to bring this case to the point where an arrest could be made and a career criminal could be put behind bars,” Sheriff Paul Blackman said.