LOTTO THEFT: Police Catch Suspects

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Police are crediting a member of the public and tough security measures for taking two alleged lottery ticket thieves off the streets.

Charles Vernor is accused of breaking into this Git N’ Go at 29th and Douglas and stealing six roles of lottery tickets worth $900.00 Police say he then passed on the winning tickets to his friend Fonda Morgan who allegedly tried to cash-in some winning tickets at a Git N’ Go at 42nd and Chamberlin, police hit the jackpot.

“He came in it was about 6:30 in the morning and he come in and cashed the lottery ticket and put the rest in gas nothing out of the ordinary,” says Git N’ Go store clerk James Fillmore.

Fillmore said it wasn’t until two hours later that he found out the man he had helped was wanted by police.

“My supervisor was actually in and we were talking and I got a phone call,  and somebody called and asked if I had cashed in a ticket, and they described it to me and I was like I remember,” says Fillmore.

Little did the alleged thieves know, The Iowa Lottery tracks stolen tickets in real-time, and had a call into police the minute the tickets were cashed.

“Between bar-codes, inks and special patterns and all kinds of other things along with our gaming management system, those things provide us real-time data, of where our products have been and where they will show up again later,” says VP of Security at the Iowa Lottery Steve Bogle.

The surveillance photos were released to the public, and that’s when police got another break in the case.

“Someone who lives in Des Moines, had seen on one of the broadcasts the surveillance video photos we released and he gave us a call indicating he thought he knew where the suspect lived,” says Sgt. Jason Halifax with the Des Moines Police Dept.

That led police to the Royal Motel where they found Morgan and Vernor.  Both men are charged with burglary and theft.