Suspects snatched thousands of dollars in lotto tickets, police say

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Two men are suspected of grabbing lotto cases off convenience store counters and cashing in thousands of dollars in stolen tickets. (KABC)

Two Orange County men are suspected of snatching thousands of dollars in lottery tickets from convenience store counters during a string of 17 robberies, police said.

The thefts, many of them caught on store surveillance cameras, feature one or two men walking into a convenience store and grabbing a display case full of tickets off a counter and then running out the door.

Police say thousands of dollars in winning tickets were cashed in.

In one video a suspect is seen casually walking in a store with his face uncovered, nodding and pointing to a clerk. He then grabs a case of lotto tickets off the front counter and runs out the door, with the store owner in pursuit, and flees in his car.

"It happened all really fast," said QuickMart owner Jagjit Singh. "It happened within 20 seconds."

A week later nearly the same thing happened at the same store. Two men walked in with their faces covered, grabbed two lottery cases and ran out.

"It's really frustrating because we have to go through a whole process of trying to cancel tickets right away so they can't cash them and try to get money," Singh said.

Police say there have been at least 17 similar robberies throughout Orange County, including Newport Beach, Corona Del Mar, Garden Grove, Santa Ana and Westminster.

Using surveillance video, investigators identified and arrested two suspects, Cesar Campos and Isidro Arellano, both of Anaheim, and so far have charged them with seven of the burglaries. Campos is due in court on May 6, Arellano on June 9.

As for Singh, he doesn't plan to get hit a third time.

"Now we have them bolted down, so it won't happen again," he said.

Related Topics:
theftrobberyburglarylotteryOrange CountyAnaheim
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