MIAMI ( –A thief in Lauderdale Lakes was looking to go on a lucky streak by boosting hundreds of lottery scratch-off tickets, according to the Broward Sheriff’s Office.

Investigators hope their fortunes change and tips from the community will lead to the burglar’s arrest.

Broward Sheriff’s detectives say the man broke into the 19th Street Food Store in the early morning hours of August 15th.

Surveillance video from the store showed the man using a large item to break into the front door, scaling a gate inside, jumping a counter and grabbing a bundle of scratch-off tickets.

Investigators say he also broke into a game machine and stole cash.

Hours later, the man is seen on surveillance video at another Lauderdale Lakes store just a few blocks away — the Dark and Lovely Convenience Store. He walks in, scratches off a ticket and wins. The video shows a clerk handing him cash.

The thief won on a Money Maker ticket. However, the money he made, according to BSO Detective Ronald Faircloth, was much less than the $250,000 grand prize.

“It came out to be about $100 dollars,” Faircloth told CBS 4’s Carey Codd.

Faircloth wants this lotto larcenist locked up. He says this guy’s crime is a new one for him.

“I’ve never had a case where that’s happened before,” Faircloth said.

The owner of the 19th Street store says the lotto ticket taker stole $1,000 worth of scratch offs and did about $1,000 worth of damage to the store.

“I’m just happy no one got hurt,” said Joyce Raines, the store owner. “I’m pushing for him to get caught.”

A employee at the Furniture Depot next door to the food store said the odds are the thief knew exactly what he was looking for.

“That’s horrible, man,” Mike Gola said. “We gotta stick together and see what we can do. See if we can catch this guy.”

As they say in the lottery, you’ve got to play to win. Investigators hope this loser gets caught.

If you have information that can help detectives solve the case, call Broward Crimestoppers at 954 493 TIPS.


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