For all budding criminal masterminds, the Georgia Lottery Commission has a message for you, steal lottery tickets and you’re going to get caught. Hopefully one young woman has learned her lesson now that she faces serious charges for allegedly stealing the scratchers at work. Investigators with the Troup County Sheriff’s Office arrested the female store clerk after she allegedly stole numerous lottery tickets from her own store.
Sheriff’s Investigators arrested Taydra Meon Smith, of LaGrange, after evidence was uncovered that the store cashier was stealing scratch-off lottery tickets.
According to investigators, Smith stole numerous scratch-off tickets after normal lottery hours and then carried the winning tickets to another store to cash them in. All in all, Smith is believed to have taken more than thirty lottery tickets on separate occasions.
As a result, Smith, age 23, was arrested and transported to the Troup County Sheriff’s Office where she was booked into the jail charged with five felony counts of Violation of the Georgia Lottery for Education Act. Investigators say additional charges are pending and this case remains under investigation.
Smith is currently being held at the Troup County Jail on $25,000 bond.
In the State of Georgia, stealing lottery tickets is a felony regardless of the value of the ticket. According to Georgia Law: ‘Any person who influences or attempts to influence the winning of a prize through the use of coercion, fraud, deception or tampering with lottery equipment or materials shall be punished by a fine not to exceed $50,000 or by imprisonment for not longer than five years.’ So someone stealing a single $1 lotto ticket could see serious jail time.
Not only that, any lotto thieves are also very unlikely to get away with their crime, especially if they are employees. Investigators note that all scratchoff lottery tickets have serial numbers that are individually documented and tracked until they are sold and redeemed.