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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Ocala man arrested after stealing $180 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets from Circle K

A 50-year-old Ocala man was arrested after he admitted to stealing $180 worth of scratch-off lottery tickets from a local convenience store.

On June 12, 2022, shortly before 9:15 a.m., the Marion County Sheriff’s Office received a call for service in reference to stolen lottery tickets. An MCSO corporal responded to the Circle K located at 4605 SE Maricamp Road and made contact with a store manager.

The manager advised that at approximately 4:30 a.m., someone had stolen six $20 Gold Rush scratch-off lottery tickets. An hour later, the same individual returned and stole two $30 Gold Rush Supreme scratch-off lottery tickets.

The corporal reviewed the video surveillance footage. In the MCSO report, the corporal noted that the male suspect was a bald white male who was wearing blue jeans, a black shirt, a black leather motorcycle vest, and brown boots. The male suspect also had a beard and was riding a black or dark blue colored motorcycle that was pulling a trailer/cart.

MCSO seeking help identifying lottery ticket theft suspect
A photo of the male suspect entering the Circle K convenience store on June 12, 2022

According to the MCSO report, the suspect entered the store at approximately 4:30 a.m. and waited for the cashier to leave the register. The suspect then reached over the counter and removed the first six scratch-off lottery tickets.

The male suspect returned to the store around an hour later and was observed on the footage crawling behind the register. The suspect then stole two additional scratch-off lottery tickets.

On or around August 30, 2022, the corporal received a Crime Stoppers tip that identified the male suspect as Benjamin Thomas Coffey. The corporal located Coffey’s address on SE 56th Avenue and drove to the residence.

Benjamin Thomas Coffey
Benjamin Thomas Coffey

Upon arrival at Coffey’s home, the corporal observed a motorcycle and trailer/cart that matched the one that was seen on the convenience store’s video surveillance footage.

On Wednesday, September 7, 2022, the corporal made contact with Coffey and noted in the report that he “matched the male in the store video footage.” When the corporal informed Coffey of the investigation into the theft at Circle K, Coffey admitted that he was the person who had stolen the tickets. He stated that he threw the tickets away once he left the store.

Coffey told the corporal that he is “currently down on his luck” and he was in need of money. After being read his Miranda rights, Coffey refused to answer any further questions and requested an attorney.

Coffey was arrested, transported to Marion County Jail, and he was later released on $16,000 bond. He is facing a felony charge for unarmed burglary of an occupied structure and a misdemeanor charge for first degree petit theft (over $100 but less than $300).

A court date has not been scheduled yet, according to jail records.