SPRING HILL — Shavone Love wore bright orange hospital scrubs that evening in early April. Her medium-length auburn-colored hair matched the clothes. Her eyebrows were long and thin and well manicured.
Stocky at 5-foot-6 and 240 pounds, Love trotted into the Publix store off Spring Hill Drive. She picked up two American Express gift cards for $100 each, eight pieces of fried chicken, two packages of watermelon chunks and one package of jumbo lump crab meat. Total cost: $272.79.
Love handed the cashier a driver's license and then a check, authorities say. She added a dollar donation for the March of Dimes.
There was a lot the employees at Publix didn't know about the person in the checkout line: That the driver's license was fraudulent and the check was bad. That "Shavone Love" went by many other fake names, including Tiffany Green, Tina Green and Tamika Hall. That the now 32-year-old has been arrested 37 times throughout the Tampa Bay area on charges of forgery, fraud, larceny, battery and cocaine possession.
Also, the employees didn't know that Shavone Love was a man, and his real name was Corey Jermaine Freeman.
Less than a month later, investigators say, Freeman walked into another Spring Hill Publix wearing a similar outfit and passed another bad check for nearly the same amount.
In June, reports say, detectives with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office learned Freeman's real name from the Sebring Police Department. He was arrested in Volusia County on charges related to bad checks, and was wanted in Sarasota County for the same thing.
Four months later, Freeman was transported to Hernando County and arrested. Records show he faces 33 criminal counts, including forgery, fraud and larceny.
Times researcher Caryn Baird contributed to this report. John Woodrow Cox can be reached at [email protected] or (352) 848-1432.