Winter Park men accused of forging bill of sale and stealing a car

Roberson Lance (left), Richard Castillo (center) and Eric Copeland (right).
Grand County Sheriff’s Office/Courtesy photos

Fraser Winter Park Police Department officers arrested Roberson Lance, 27, of Winter Park, and Richard Castillo, 38, of Winter Park, on sixth-degree felony charges for theft on Jan. 10. Police also arrested Eric Copeland, 43, of Winter Park, on a fifth-degree felony charge for forgery Jan. 11. Affidavits for the arrest warrants allege the three forged documentation to steal a car on Jan. 6.

Copeland’s signature was on a bill of sale used to get a towing company to move a white Chevrolet Suburban to a secluded lot in unincorporated Fraser, according to the affidavits.

The Suburban belongs to Timothy McKelvey, who was arrested for an alleged assault on officers in Fraser on Dec. 30. Police began investigating the situation when the owner of the towing service contacted them saying he had doubts about the validity of the sale after towing the vehicle.

Lance and Castillo told the towing company owner they had bought the car for $1,000 from a friend who was “in a hard spot,” according to the affidavit. The two showed the tow driver a bill of sale that did not include vehicle identification number or odometer reading but had a signature for McKelvey, whose middle name is Herbert, that read “Timothy H.”

After police heard from the tow company owner, McKelvey reported his car stolen while in the Grand County Jail. An officer compared his signature on booking paperwork to the one on the bill of sale and thought the bill signature seemed forged. They also compared Copeland’s signature to that of his drivers license and thought they were a match.

The officer talked to McKelvey, who said he had not sold his car and knew Lance, Castillo and one other person associated with them. Castillo and the other person had met McKelvey a few times and invited him to their apartment, where he saw them and others use and sell drugs, the affidavit read.

McKelvey told police he stopped associating with Lance, Castillo and the other person because of their drug use, even though he said they offered to let him live in the apartment if he paid rent, as McKelvey had been living out of his car. McKelvey told police he would not sell his car partially because he lived and stored most of his belongings in it, including thousands of dollars in cash, clothing and merchandise.

The tow owner spoke to Copeland and Castillo two days after towing the car, and the two denied stealing the car, according to the affidavit. After the owner told Castillo they knew he and Copeland had stolen the car, he said Castillo admitted to taking money and clothing out of the vehicle .

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