Almost $10,000 worth of lottery tickets stolen in Union County

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LEWIS TOWNSHIP, UNION COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A Union County man is behind bars after being accused of stealing almost $10,000 in lottery tickets from the store where he worked.

According to court records, on Tuesday, October 5, officers responded to a reported theft at Harvey’s Food Mart, 14544 SR-45, in Lewis Township.

Police say the store’s shift manager, informed officers of an employee, Austin Smith, who played $9,910 worth of PA ‘Fast Play’ lottery tickets without paying for them while working the front cash register.

Police say it was also reported the cash drawer and coin dispenser Smith was responsible for during his shift were also missing $674.74.

In total, Smith is accused of stealing $10,584.74.

Video surveillance shows Smith playing the lottery kiosk and not paying for the tickets dispensed during his work shift, the police records read.

Police say a handwritten letter of admission from Smith was found at the food mart. In the letter, Smith admitted to having gambled and taking $1,000 worth of lottery winnings.

According to court papers, a criminal history check of Smith showed prior theft charges.

Smith was arraigned in front of Magisterial District Judge Lori R. Hackenberg and placed on $15,000 monetary bail, which he was unable to post.

Smith is currently being held at the Union County Prison and is facing felony charges of theft by deception/false impression and retail theft, as well as a misdemeanor charge of theft by unlawful taking.

His preliminary hearing is scheduled for Tuesday, October 19, at 3:15 p.m. in front of Magisterial District Judge Jeffrey L. Mensch.

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