Suspect in check thefts arrested

September 25, 2003|EMILY BURTON

STANFORD - A three-county manhunt for an alleged check thief and parole violator ended Tuesday when state police arrested Wilbur Riddle Jr. in Stanford.

Riddle, 24, of 12531 KY 1247, Waynesburg, was charged with possession of a forged instrument.

He was wanted in Lincoln County on 21 warrants for theft of mail matter, criminal possession of a forged instrument and related charges. Riddle was also wanted in Casey County for burglary and theft by deception over $300 and in Boyle County for a parole violation.

Authorities suspect Riddle was taking checks out of rural mailboxes and altering them for his personal use. In some cases, white-out was used to change the name of check recipients and names of check owners were forged.

"It's probably not a good idea to put checks in rural boxes," said Lincoln County Sheriff Shelby Lakes in August. At that time Lakes released a photo of Riddle in hopes of stopping the spree. Lakes had said there were a rash of check thefts in the area in the previous months.


According to State Police Trooper Brandon Curlis, the arresting officer, an anonymous tipster called and told state police where Riddle could be found. Riddle was arrested after Curlis discovered him hiding in a residence behind the Stanford Save-a-Lot.

"I just got a tip where he was, and went up there. I got permission to search the residence, and found him hiding," said Curlis.

Riddle is being held at the Lincoln County Regional Jail on a $148,000 cash bond.

Emily Burton can be reached at

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