COWETA COUNTY, Ga. - Surveillance video shows a man police say tried to cash stolen lottery tickets, and he wasn't alone. Now police are trying to find him before he strikes again.
Investigators gave Channel 2’s Nefertiti Jaquez a copy of the video they say shows the men trying to cash the stolen tickets from a local store.
So far, police say they have hit up at least five stores in the area.
Cameras were rolling when a thief used a hammer to smash his way into a convenience store along Highway 44 in Coweta County.
Sheriff’s deputies the man broke the glass and slid through the door before snatching about a dozen rolls of lottery tickets, taking off and ending up at Firoz Lilywala's store about 20 miles away in southeast Atlanta.
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“He had a bunch of tickets, a lot of tickets he has in his hands. He tried to cash the ticket,” Lilywala told Jaquez.
Lilywala said the man casually walked in with another man around 8 a.m. Sunday looking to cash in on stolen scratch-offs.
“They want to make extra money, fast money,” Lilywala said.
But that’s when he caught on.
Lilywala said once he started scanning the first scratch off, his computer signaled it was stolen. So he immediately called 911 and snapped a picture of one of the men before they jumped into a stolen Nissan Altima and took off.
"I saw the guy there, I tried to take a picture and he tried to hide his face,” Lilywala told Jaquez.
But cameras at five different stores in two counties caught the duo and a woman trying to cash in the stolen lottery tickets from Coweta County.
Detectives said they hit store after store, but in the end got nothing because the tickets were deactivated.
Now the search is on to find the trio, who investigators say may be linked to other crimes in other counties.
Anyone with information in this case is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 404-577-8477.
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