Arrest made in lotto ticket thefts

Arrest made in lotto ticket thefts

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP helped by observant public

A Vernon man’s luck ran out after being arrested for allegedly stealing hundreds of lottery tickets dating back to July 2017.

Vernon-North Okanagan RCMP responded to a report of theft Thursday, Dec. 7, that had just occurred at the Armstrong Regional Cooperative’s Vernon Gas Bar in the 3500 block of 27th Street shortly before 3:30 p.m.

Police officers quickly responded to the area and learned that a lone man entered the store and allegedly stole approximately $500 in lottery tickets.

The man fled on foot and was seen getting into a blue-coloured Ford Focus by neighbouring business employees.

“The investigating officer viewed video surveillance at the Co-op gas station and was able to identify the suspect male from previous lottery thefts that have occurred throughout the Vernon area,” said RCMP spokesperson Const. Kelly Brett.

“The same suspect male was previously arrested and charged on six counts of theft for theft of lottery tickets from July of 2017.”

The next day, the Vernon Task Force located the blue Ford Focus involved in the incident and initiated a traffic stop.

The driver was identified as the lottery theft suspect and was subsequently arrested.

“The RCMP continue to encourage the public to report suspicious persons or activities in their neighbourhood to police,” said Brett. “It was the observant nature of the surrounding businesses that led to the details involving the direction of travel and mode of transportation by the suspect, thus resulting in the vehicle being located and arrests being made.”

Dean Amendt, 37, was charged with one count of theft under $5,000 and failing to comply with a recognizance. He is slated to appear in provincial court Thursday.