A 30-year-old man has been arrested in connection with two identical thefts from the same Sarasota gas station.
The Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office said Michael Grimes is the man who was captured on surveillance video twice stealing scratch-off lottery tickets from a Sunoco station at 4131 Bee Ridge Road.
The first incident was in July, when he allegedly grabbed $1,800 in tickets, and the second happened last week. The thief got away with $50 worth of tickets this time.
Detectives say Grimes would place an item he said he wanted to buy on the counter, and when the clerk was busy ringing up the sale, he would reach over the counter and pull off several lottery tickets.
A Florida Lottery spokeswoman said even if the stolen tickets were winners, the thief would not be able to collect the money. Each lottery ticket has a serial number, and when one is stolen, the lottery makes note of that number in its computer system.
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