The most expensive scratch tickets sell for $20 and $30. (Washington State Lottery)

The most expensive scratch tickets sell for $20 and $30. (Washington State Lottery)

Police: Everett couple stole $22K in state lottery tickets

They allegedly swiped the tickets while one of them worked at a gas station — and won more than $14,000.

EVERETT — An Everett couple’s luck ran out last week when they were arrested for allegedly stealing $22,050 worth of Washington State Lottery scratch tickets while one of the suspects was employed at a gas station.

Everett police reported that a 30-year-old woman used her position to pilfer 50 bundles of high-priced scratch tickets over five months as a convenience store employee on the 3100 block of Broadway last year.

The suspect, along with her wife, 35, then allegedly redeemed the tickets for $14,175 in prize money. The 35-year-old suspect also worked at the gas station, but quit the same day she was hired.

Suspicions were raised after the 30-year-old posed as a state lottery employee at a different gas station and attempted to activate more of the stolen lottery tickets, documents say.

Employees of the store contacted Washington State Lottery investigators, who traced the tickets to the gas station on Broadway. There, the owner identified the suspect as his previous employee.

Cross-examining employee time sheets and ticket activation times, investigators determined that between February and September 2018, the employee activated 49 of 50 bundles during the waning hours of her shifts at the gas station.

Using traceable serial numbers, investigators tracked when and where the suspects collected winning prize money. Video evidence from a grocery store showed both women redeeming stolen tickets 13 times for more than $3,800, according to the police report.

The women were booked into the Snohomish County Jail on May 30 for investigation of first-degree theft. The 30-year-old woman also is being investigated for criminal impersonation for allegedly presenting herself as a state lottery employee.

“The integrity of Washington’s Lottery is our foremost concern. Without it, we could not be successful,” Kristi Weeks, director of legal services for Washington’s Lottery, said via email. “We investigate all reports of stolen or altered tickets, and involve local law enforcement as appropriate. In addition to potential theft charges, claiming a lottery prize by means of fraud, deceit or misrepresentation, or altering or forging a ticket, is a separate felony under state law.”

In fiscal year 2017, the Washington State Lottery reported ticket sales of $736.7 million.

Ian Davis-Leonard: 425-339-3449; idavisleonard@heraldnet.com. Twitter: IanDavisLeonard.

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