An investigation by the Izard County Sheriff’s Department and owners of a Melbourne convenience store has led to charges against two juvenile employees of the store. The two were charged with theft of property and lottery fraud, both class “d” felonies The theft involved a scheme by the employees that involved scratching off lottery tickets without paying for them and taking any winnings from the store cash register. Approximately $1,500 of losses to the store and the lottery commission have been documented.
Some of their criminal action was caught on an in-store video system and it is highly suspected that additional thefts were not caught on camera. The mother of one of the accused also worked at the store and is suspected of at least being knowledgeable of the thefts and may have been a conspirator while the father, although not a store employee, of the same juvenile was shown on video as being present when some of the thefts occurred.
The juveniles are scheduled to appear in court in early September. Sheriff Tate Lawrence said the lottery fraud charge carries a maximum fine of $500,000. Sheriff Lawrence said the sheriff’s department will be asking for full restitution and maximum fine and will ask the court to hold the parents financially responsible. Lawrence also said the investigation is continuing and adult charges involving the parents of one of the employees are possible.
POC: Sheriff Tate Lawrence