Industry Reports

Lottery Tickets Thieves Become Braver and Bolder across Southwestern Ontario

Over the past few months, lottery ticket thefts have become an occurring crime as some criminals are optimistic enough to consider it being a safe way to fortune. The most recent case of criminals stealing a large number of lottery tickets took place at a London gas station in broad daylight. The two men collaborated in a way that made it possible for them to steal the tickets and make an escape.

Across Canada, lottery games are among the most popular gaming offering that is preferred by many due to its reputation of being a risk-free alternative to gambling. Individuals still have the chance to win big, but they are not prone to spending thousands of Canadian dollars at a box with slots, as casino venues are often referred to. This makes it an easy target for criminals that want to obtain one of the larger cash payouts without concluding the first mandatory step – ticket purchase.

A Couple of Thieves Successfully Rob Three Locations

In the past several weeks Ontario and Newfoundland and Labrador saw several similar instances in which criminals stole handfuls of instant lottery tickets only to make a failed attempt at cashing the winning ones. In both occasions the individuals were cuffed in the process, but this time the situation is different. London criminals were two men identified as Bruce Laroche, 40, and Thomas Laroche, 37.

The two of them worked in close collaboration to distract the clerk who was on their shift. The crime took place around 2:30 p.m. on a Monday at a gas station. There is only one location in Plympton Township’s London Line fitting the description and it is a Petro-Canada one. The thieves entered the location and one of them proceeded to distract the sole clerk by asking questions and luring him away from the counter.

This gave the second criminal the chance to reach a whole box of instant lottery tickets and steal it. Shortly after that both of them made their escape in a white Mercedes SUV. Both of them are being investigated as in the past few weeks similar crimes occurred in convenience stores located on Patrick Street in Fordwich and on Dundas Street in Woodstock. When it comes to the said two occasions, the police failed to identify the criminals involved in them, but they included two men following the same pattern of thievery.

Two Successful Arrests Happened in January

For the time being no stolen winning tickets have been cashed in by any of the criminals and the two of them have not been linked to the crimes in Woodstock and Fordwich. More details could be obtained once they are arrested, the warrants for which have already been issued. Ontario residents in possession of information on the whereabouts of those criminals can contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).

Only several days before this crime was committed, a Sarnian man called Tad Joseph Butler, 20, stole a handful of instant lottery tickets from a Shell gas station located on 203, Indian Road. Later on, he contacted a friend of his and instructed him to cash in the winning ones, which led to the eventual arrest of both of them. He was charged with theft under CA$5,000 to failing to comply with probation.

A day later, a 33-year-old woman from St. John’s, Newfoundland and Labrador stole a man’s wallet to purchase a winning lottery ticket in Paradise. However, what happened next was not heavenly at all, as when she mustered up the courage to claim her CA$50,000 jackpot the authorities charged her with two counts of possessing a stolen credit card, as well as five counts of fraud. Atlantic Lottery Corporation would have to decide what to do with the jackpot and there is a possibility that the man whose credit card was stolen could obtain the cash.