No Jackpot for Lotto Thieves in California

     UKIAH, Calif. (CN) – Burglars stole packages of lottery tickets worth more than $15,000 from a Northern California truck stop, the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department said.
     The burglary was reported around 9:30 a.m. on Dec. 26, the department said in a statement. Surveillance footage showed two people breaking into Jensen’s Truck Stop a little after midnight and taking cash, cartons of cigarettes and packages of lottery tickets, officials said.
     The California Lottery Commission identified the missing tickets, and over the next four days several people were reported trying to cash some of them in, officials said.
     A Dec. 30 probation search of someone staying at a nearby hotel turned up several hundred dollars’ worth of the tickets, officials said. The investigation grew to include other suspects, and by Jan. 2 officials had seized about $9,000 in stolen lottery tickets and 15 cartons of stolen cigarettes, the department said.
     The department has not released names of any suspects due to the ongoing investigation.
     Representatives of the Mendocino County Sheriff’s Department and the California Lottery Commission did not respond to phone calls requesting comment Tuesday afternoon.
     Ukiah, population 16,075, is in the far northwest coastal region of California, at the headwaters of the Russian River.

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