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Texas lottery thief caught after attempting to cash stolen tickets

Aug 5, 2020, 6:31 pm

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Texas Lottery

By Kate Northrop

A thief who stole two whole bins of Texas Lottery scratch-off tickets from a gas station has been caught by police after he attempted to cash in a prize.

On July 19 at 3:00 am, surveillance cameras captured the moment Kendall Hayes, 27, broke into the Copper Ridge Market on TX-29 in Georgetown. A man identified as Hayes pulled up to the convenience store in his car and smashed an object through the glass door. He then snatched two bins of scratch-off lottery tickets and drove off in his vehicle.

That same day, he attempted to cash in one of the stolen tickets for a $200 prize at the Berry Creek Food Mart on TX-195, but then later went to the Jiffy Mart on Luther Drive to cash it in.

Hayes was identified as the man in the video surveillance by an investigator from the Burnet sheriff's office with the help of some tips, along with other recordings of Hayes entering various convenience stores he had also visited. It also helped that he had recognizable tattoos and public information on social media accounts.

Williamson County police also collaborated with the Burnet County sheriff's office after he had apparently tried to cash tickets in Burnet County from the same batch of tickets he stole from the gas station in Georgetown. 

On Monday, Hayes was charged with claiming a lottery ticket prize by fraud, which is a third-degree felony that could land someone in prison for a maximum of 10 years. He was booked into Williamson County Jail and was released the next day after posting bail set at $7,500.

Public records from Williamson and Burnet County also show that Hayes has committed various criminal acts in the past, with his earliest recorded offenses dating back to 2011. He has previously been charged with criminal mischief, possession of marijuana and other controlled substances, and failing to appear for court in addition to fraudulently claiming a lottery ticket prize.

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