Sheriff says 600 lotto tickets stolen

Sheriff says 600 lotto tickets stolen

The Hot Spring County Sheriff's Office says more than $16,000 in lottery tickets have been stolen from a local convenience store.
HOT SPRING, AR - Hot Spring County deputies say Bette and Julian McKinney's own employees ripped them off.

"We trusted our employees to run this place the way it should have been run," said Bette, "and our trust was taken away from us."

Deputies say over the course of six months, several employees stole more than 650 scratch-off tickets from the Wishbone General Store on Highway 84. Losses for the McKinney's total $16,000.

"It hurt us because we wanted employees to feel as if it was theirs or they were a part of it," said Julian of his store.

Deputies say the employees scratched-off the bar code portion of tickets, scanned them to see if they were winners, and then cashed-in the prizes. Detectives used a list of the store's winning lottery tickets to figure out which one's were cashed, but not payed for.

As for the McKinney's, they've revamped their lottery safeguards, requiring employees to list ticket sales on a form before and after each shift. They also have some advice for would-be lotto sellers.

"If you're selling lottery tickets have safeguards in place," advised Bette.

Added Julian, "be careful."

Deputies have yet to make any arrests in the case, but Sheriff Chad Ledbetter said several arrests are likely coming soon.
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