Thief poses as lottery official, steals tickets, dispenser in ‘elaborate scheme'

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A man dressed as a North Carolina lottery employee stole a lottery machine by simply picking it up and taking it out, Charlotte-Mecklenburg police said.

The theft happened Wednesday at the QT on South Boulevard at Arrowood Road.

The owner of the store told reporter Stephanie Tinoco the man in uniform also had, what looked like, an official NC Lottery ID.

“Probably one of the most elaborate schemes I’ve ever seen in my 25 years,” QT spokesman Mike Thornbrugh said.

The thief stole $1,000 worth of scratch-off tickets and a ticket dispenser from the convenience store, police said.

“The individual said he was going to replace them,” Thornbrugh said. “Had a work order. I’m telling you, it’s just one of the most elaborate schemes I have ever seen.”

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Surveillance equipment caught the act on camera.

Charlotte-Mecklenburg police have not released the footage yet.

“He just pulled off a hell of a scheme,” Thornbrugh said. “That’s all I can tell you.”

The stolen tickets are now worthless.

They were reported to the lottery commission, so anyone who tries to cash them won't be getting a prize.

“Most of these rocket scientists try to go somewhere and cash them as quickly as they can,” Thornbrugh said. “The lottery commission is going to be able to match those up, and the other establishments have cameras. So, you have a whole sequence of the crimes, so they’ll be easy to catch and convict, quite frankly.”

No one was injured.

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