Two nabbed trying to cash stolen lottery tickets
Two men walked into the Hoosier Lottery headquarters with a handful of winning tickets. but they ended up in handcuffs.
At the Hoosier Lottery office, not everyone leaves with smiles and winnings. Unless winning a trip to police headquarters makes you smile.
Eyewitness News saw two men led out in handcuffs Friday, following an armed robbery 12 hours before.
They were scary moments Thursday night for clerks at a South Meridian Street Speedway station. Two men came in before midnight, pulled a gun, stole cigars, cash and lottery tickets.
It's those Hoosier Lottery tickets that helped lead police to the two men they picked up Friday at lottery headquarters for questioning.
Hours after the robbery, a man walked into another gas station 15 miles away at 56th and Lafayette Road.
He tried to cash in some of the stolen tickets.
"He tried to check the lottery tickets here. We did check the lottery tickets, but it said 'See the lottery office'," said station manager Ajit Gil.
The man even showed his photo ID.
"He wanted the money, but we can't give the money," Gil said.
An hour or so later, two men did go to lottery headquarters on Meridian Street. But they apparently did not know when tickets are stolen, their bar codes are not properly activated. Then, when someone tries to redeem them, there are questions and police involved.
Thieves around the country have been caught in the same way.
One woman shopping at the gas station where the tickets were rejected called the idea of stealing the tickets "really ridiculous."
"Doesn't make any sense you would try that," she said.
"If I buy a ticket, it's my luck, I get the money. But if you steal it, it's like you're stealing my luck," Gil said.
By late Friday night police hadn't released the names of the two men picked up at lottery headquarters. Criminal charges against the men are still pending.