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 June 29th, 2009  
Donít leave outgoing mail containing checks in your mailbox overnight, Sheriff Mascara warns, citing arrest of check thief-forger Randy Celli
 
According to St. Lucie County Sheriff Ken J. Mascara, Friday’s arrest of check thief and forger Randy Celli shows why people shouldn’t leave outgoing mail in their mailboxes overnight if it contains checks written to pay bills.

“It’s better to either mail the checks at a post office or put the mail in the mailbox just before the postman comes,” Sheriff Mascara said. “We just arrested a Bradenton man for stealing checks and forging people’s signatures and bank account numbers on blank checks he had stolen in the Bradenton area.”

Randy Celli, 37 (DOB 8/17/70) is jailed under $250,000 bond for 46 offenses including numerous counts of forgery, grand theft, criminal use of personal identification, organized schemes to defraud and grand theft auto.

“Celli stole blank checks in the Bradenton area, then came to St. Lucie County,” Sheriff Mascara said. “In our county, he stole outgoing mail from mail boxes containing checks that included victims’ account numbers. He forged the victims’ names on blank checks and forged the victims’ endorsements on the back of the checks along with the account numbers. He then took the checks to drive-through windows at banks in St. Lucie County to cash the checks.”

Eventually, he cashed a check at a WalMart store where a victim contacted the store, the store contacted Sheriff’s detectives and the scheme unraveled.

A surveillance photo shows Celli cashing one of his bad checks at the Bank Atlantic branch at 147 S.W. Port St. Lucie Boulevard, Port St. Lucie.

“Some people don’t learn from their mistakes, and Randy Celli is one of them,” said Sheriff Mascara. “In 2007, our detectives arrested Celli for the exact same crimes he committed over the last couple of weeks.”

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