A 34-year-old Ocklawaha woman was arrested after stealing over $800 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets from a Circle K gas station in Silver Springs.
On Monday, a detective and deputy from the Marion County Sheriff’s Office responded to the Circle K located at 16991 E Highway 40 in reference to theft involving an employee.
Upon arrival, a manager told the detective and deputy that video camera footage showed an employee, Rebecca Mae Church, placing scratch-off lottery tickets into her purse.
The manager became aware of the theft during a daily audit of the lottery tickets. On Monday morning, the manager noticed that 62 lottery tickets valued at $811 were missing.
When the theft was discovered, the manager viewed the camera footage from the day before, and it showed Church taking the tickets from under the counter and placing them into her purse at around 3:40 p.m.
Church was then seen on the footage locking the doors at around 4 p.m. and she walked to the bathroom with her purse. Later during her shift, at around 5:30 p.m., she was also seen scratching one of the tickets.
The manager noticed that money was also missing from the gas station’s Florida Red Cross donation drive, but the manager was unsure of the exact dollar amount that was stolen.
During a search of the bathroom, the manager located several torn losing tickets that were identified as belonging to the stolen batch of tickets.
According to the MCSO report, the detective reviewed the video footage and it showed everything the manager had described. Church was also heard at one point on the video telling customers that she had won $50 on a scratch-off ticket.
Church arrived at the gas station for her shift while the detective was still on the scene.
Church was detained by the detective. She claimed that she found some tickets in the garbage can outside the gas station and she threw most of them away in the bathroom.
When the detective advised her that she was seen on video taking the tickets from the counter, she stated that she would give customers money on her behalf to buy tickets since it was against store policy to purchase tickets while on the clock. She further claimed that she would then set those tickets aside and she would take them at the end of her shift.
The detective informed Church of the gas station’s audit system for the tickets, and she admitted to taking four of the tickets. She stated she realized they had not been paid for when she got home, and she claimed to have accidentally thrown them out at another store.
Church was arrested and transported to Marion County Jail where she is currently being held on $2,000 bond. She is facing a felony charge for retail theft.
A court date has been scheduled on Tuesday, February 8 at 9 a.m., according to jail records.