BAYTOWN, Texas – A 21-year-old man was charged with claiming lottery prizes by fraud after authorities said he stole more than a dozen lottery tickets from a Baytown convenience store.
Raul Villegas is accused of stealing the tickets from the Tri Stop in the 1800 block of Massey Tompkins on June 13.
The store employee told police that Villegas is a regular customer and he came in to buy candy the day of the crime.
The clerk told police that he left Villegas alone at the counter briefly while he completed the transaction.
While he was left alone, Villegas stole 17 Millionaire Club lottery tickets from the counter, according to police.
Surveillance video shows Villegas reaching over the counter, taking the tickets and hiding them under his shirt.
What happened next
Around 8 p.m., Villegas' girlfriend came into the store and paid the clerk for the stolen tickets, according to police.
Police said she did so in hopes that it would avert any criminal charges being pursued against her boyfriend.
What the investigation revealed
Police said four of the stolen lottery tickets were cashed at a nearby store for $140.
Villegas was identified as the thief and he was charged with the Class A misdemeanor, police said.