OCEANSIDE — Surveillance cameras captured the faces of two individuals who redeemed more than $600 in stolen Lottery tickets at two Oceanside stores, and police are seeking the public’s help in identifying the men.
Police said the Lottery Scratchers tickets were stolen during a burglary in Orange County May 6, and a nighttime burglary in Oceanside May 18. The tickets were cashed on the same day each of the burglaries occurred, authorities said.
Detective Karla Williams of the Oceanside Police Department said that 600 tickets were stolen, totaling $1,700.
Before the Lottery found out about the thefts, $628 was collected from the stolen tickets, but only a certain amount of the winning Scratchers were cashed in, Williams said.
Bill Ainsworth, a spokesman for the Lottery, said that the Lottery operates a 24-hour hotline, and that retail clerks should contact it, and their local law enforcement agency, after a theft occurs.
“Once the hotline gets a call, a Lottery investigator is sent out immediately to identify the tickets that were stolen, put a hold on those tickets and make those tickets worthless,” he said.
The Lottery has its own security force, consisting of law enforcement personnel who work 24-hours-a-day to eliminate fraud, he said.
Lottery officials contacted the Oceanside Police Department with possible leads to suspects.
“They are able to see where the tickets were redeemed, and able to see video footage,” Williams said.
She said it is unknown if either of the subjects in the video footage are responsible for the burglaries.
“We solely know they had possession of stolen tickets and were redeeming them,” she said.
Anyone with information is advised to contact Oceanside Police Department Detective Karla Williams at (760) 435-4771.