Thieves steal $5K in scratch-off tickets, police say


Visalia Police are asking for your help identifying two men who are suspected of stealing thousands of dollars in scratch-off lottery tickets. 

Investigators said two suspects hit two different businesses late Wednesday July 25 — The first a Circle 7 on North Dinuba Blvd., just an hour later, a Flyers on Walnut Ave and Mooney Blvd. 

“The whole time on the video they were looking for something to steal,” Rob Stone, a Flyers employee, said Wednesday. 

Stone said the store locks the beer up at night because of thefts, and when his coworker went to unlock it for a customer the men made their move. They each grabbed a case of lottery scratchers, worth about $3,000.

“Faster than cougars, just yanked it out,” Stone said. 

Sgt. Gary Williams from the Visalia Police Department said both thefts involved some type of distraction.

“There’s two extra roles of scratchers (by the counter), and two black men walk in, and they have black bandanas, and when they see (the clerk) they ask him for Hennessy — When he goes to grab the Hennessy, they grabbed the scratchers.” Wael Satah a Circle 7 employee said. 

They took about $2,000 worth of tickets from the Circle 7. Police said the thieves cashed some of the tickets, but won’t be cashing any more. 

“The tickets have been flagged. So if someone attempts to cash those the police will be contacted,” Williams said. 

Stone said it’s a loss for everyone involved. “It kind of makes us bump our prices for anything. We have employees to pay, a store to maintain, with the bills and everything. So we got to pick up the cost on everything. So it kind of pushes our customers away too,” he said.

If anyone has information on the two suspects, they’re asked to call Detective Dowling at (559) 713-4656. Anonymous tips can be sent to the link below:…/poli…/submit_an_anonymous_tip.asp

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