Did you know that there were over 1.4 million burglaries in the year 2017 alone? And its only gotten worse in the last 5 years! Stealing clothing and electronics is one thing, but stealing a lottery ticket worth millions or even billions is a whole other thing. When huge sums of money are involved, people start becoming less and less trustworthy. Learning about the horror stories of others can help us stay on alert. Are you wondering what other lotto winners have had to deal with? Keep reading to learn all about the most recent cases of stolen lottery tickets and what you can learn from them.
A Handbag Bonus
You’ll be surprised to learn that stolen scratch-off lottery tickets aren’t limited to just the United States. It seems no one on earth can resist the temptation to possibly win lots of dough.
In this case, the thief wasn’t aware he was stealing a lotto ticket. Rather, he stole a woman’s purse from a restaurant located in a small town south of Valencia, Spain. The ticket ended up being worth a whopping $150,000.
Instead of getting caught right away, the criminal bought a house. He must have thought that he wouldn’t get caught now that he was holed up in his little personal castle, but that wasn’t the case. The police tracked him down at his new place and slapped the handcuffs on him.
They found him because of security camera footage that had recorded the crime. The 52-year-old man pretended to talk on his cellphone as he approached the woman’s table at the restaurant. Thinking he was slicker than oil, he covered her bag with his jacket and slipped away without anyone noticing him at first.
Not only did the bag contain over $1,000 in cold, hard cash, but the lotto ticket was in there for him as well. It was part of a Christmas special from the El Gordo Lottery. The woman reported the theft but the criminal wasn’t found until he claimed the lottery ticket money.
Aside from holding on to your tickets like grim death, you should also be on the lookout for the announcement of winners if your tickets ever get stolen. This is one benefit of having this information public.
Not all criminals are as subtle as the guy from Spain. Some people can’t help themselves or even take the time to plan out something that has an inkling of potential success to it.
A man in Minneapolis got his stolen scratchers at gunpoint. He held up two gas stations and a hotel as well. He didn’t limit himself to lottery tickets. Instead, he demanded cash from the register and the safe.
As if that wasn’t enough, he demanded tobacco products too. There’s nothing quite like a post-robbery smoke. He might have had a better chance of getting away with his crimes if he didn’t cash in his winning lotto tickets.
The security cameras captured him going into a couple of gas stations over the course of two days. Adding to the growing evidence was the third crime. This time it was a hotel and a two-man job.
The criminals rolled up to the hotel with guns and told the clerk to get down on the ground. They stole his keys, wallet, cellphone, and more. Afterward, they ordered the victim to run away on foot.
They got away from the scene of a crime again, but their days were still numbered. Instead of going out in a blaze of glory, the criminal was caught by something as simple as a traffic stop. The police found the weapon and used forensics to determine that it was the same one from the hotel which was discharged once, although not at a person.
Instead of drawing out the court proceedings, the man pleaded guilty to the crimes. Let’s hope he learned his lesson and will think twice or even three times before he holds up another gas station or hotel.
An Inside Job
Sometimes lottery ticket theft is an inside job. In this case, an employee in Idaho Falls turned against the convenience store she worked for. Instead of taking a more tactful route, she stole them during her shift, scratched them, and cashed them right then and there.
She’s currently looking at a felony charge for her crimes. Depending on what the judge decrees, she could get up to 5 years in prison. What makes this story even more tragic is the fact that she did it all for a measly 80 bucks.
The lottery scratch tickets she stole amounted to around $365. However, she tried to cover her tracks by leaving $260 at the register to cover the cost of the tickets.
Since the judge has yet to decide on this case, the woman remains innocent until proven guilty. We can still say with confidence that the evidence isn’t looking too hot.
Whatever you think of this particular crime, it’s nowhere near as sloppy as driving a truck through a building. This is what happened in Fresno, California recently. The camera footage showed the person driving through the front of the store, getting out, and stealing as many tickets as they could.
The police are still on the hunt for him so maybe his crime wasn’t as sloppy as it appeared to be. However, most people get caught once they try to cash their winning tickets.
Are You Ready to Avoid Stolen Lottery Tickets?
Now that you’ve learned all about the most recent cases of stolen lottery tickets, you can do everything you can to avoid something like that happening to you. After all, winning can be hard enough without having to worry about untrustworthy people coming after your tickets.
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