LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Officers with the Lufkin Police Department arrested a 24-year-old woman on Thursday in connection to allegations that she and another employee took $679 in scratch-off tickets without paying for them from a Polk's Pick-It-Up and then cashed in the winning tickets for more than $396.
Corrine Lucille Henderson, of Lufkin was booked into the Angelina County Jail on a third-degree felony fraudulently claim a lottery prize charge. She posted a bail amount of $5,000 and was released later Thursday.
According to the arrest affidavit, an LPD officer was dispatched to the Polk's Pick-It-Up store located at 2400 E. Denman Avenue on Dec. 29, 2014 in reference to an internal theft that had already occurred.
When the officer spoke to the store's manager, she told him or her that that the lottery ticket sales were short $595 and that the sales logs were altered on Dec. 25 and in the early morning hours of Dec. 17. She also told the LPD officer that after she reviewed the surveillance video from those days, she noticed that her two night shift cashiers, Henderson and another woman, were taking scratch-off lottery tickets without paying for them, the affidavit stated.
"The employees took $679 in scratch-off tickets without paying for them," the affidavit stated. "The winning cards were then cashed in for over $296 in US currency."
According to the affidavit, the LPD officer took the lottery log and several scratched-off tickets that had been thrown into trash cans at the store into evidence. In addition, the other employee could be seen on the video dusting the counter in an attempt to hide the residue from the scratch-off tickets.
The manager texted the two employees and asked them to come talk to her about the alleged theft, and she gave an LPD investigator permission to forensically search her cell phone for the text messages. In the messages, both employees admitted to taking multiple scratch-off tickets and offered to pay back the money that was missing, the affidavit stated.
According to the affidavit, one of the text messages said, "We both scratched tickets all night. No, we did not ring them up when we scratched them, we rang them up later when we were done scratching. We assumed we paid for them all 50/50 obviously we missed some …"
The manager told the LPD investigator that she looked, and no large winning scratch-off tickets were logged into either register on the two nights in question.
After the investigator contacted the Texas Lottery Commission, an official with the agency said there was an unusually high number of scratch-off tickets scanned at the Polk's store in the late evening hours of Dec. 25 and Dec. 26 - 52 one night and 54 the other.