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Police: Dad's Elaborate Fireworks Purchase Links Him to Forgery Scheme

SPRINGFIELD, Mo. -- Police say Steven Leavitt bought about $1,400 in fireworks to have a big Fourth of July show... "to give his kids a good 4th."

GREENE COUNTY, Mo. -- Springfield police say a dad's elaborate fireworks purchase linked him to more than $4,500 in stolen checks.

Last Wednesday, the owner of B-n-B Fireworks stand in Rogersville reported to police that a $750 check had been written with a closed account. The next day, someone used the same account to buy $658 worth of fireworks at Wildcat Fireworks at Highway O and Highway 13.

A description from witnesses helped police locate Steven Ray Leavitt, 34, who was arrested at his home on Tuesday. At that time, police say Leavitt admitted to writing the checks, but says he got the checkbook from a friend known as "Chris." Officers say Leavitt knew "Chris" from "dumpster diving" with him.

According to court documents, Leavitt told police he bought the fireworks to have a big Fourth of July show. A detective writes "[Leavitt] knew it was wrong, but wanted to give his kids a good 4th." He told police he acted alone.

After talking with the woman who owned the checks, police learned that her account was also used to make nearly $3,000 in purchases at grocery stores, cell phone dealers, gas stations, and other retailers.

Police say Leavitt admitted to those crimes, too, so "he could resell for cash to support his poor financial situation and to support his drug habit."

Leavitt now faces 12 counts of Forgery, as well as parole violation. He's held in the Greene County Jail in lieu of $25,000 bond.
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