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Robber steals $10,000 in lottery tickets

Suspect identified in Facebook posting

photo

MARION COUNTY, Fla. – A man was arrested Tuesday after he broke into a convenience store and stole $10,000 worth of Florida Lottery tickets, according to the Marion County Sheriff's Office.

Christopher Sikes, 24, tried to cash them at multiple locations in Marion and Lake Counties, deputies said.

SURVEILLANCE: Lottery case stolen

The theft occurred on Tuesday, August 16 at the Quick King Gas Station on NW 44th Avenue in Ocala. Deputies responded after the burglary alarm went off.

They discovered the front glass door had been shattered.

The store owner told deputies he was missing an entire case of Florida Lottery scratch-off tickets that were valued at $10,000 or more.

Surveillance video showed the robber smashing the front door with what appeared to be a hatchet and then stealing the case.

A short time later, Sikes tried to cash a $1,000 stolen ticket at a convenience store in Leesburg, deputies said.

The clerk told Sikes the ticket was declined and it may be stolen.

Sikes tried to leave the store, but the clerk insisted he pose for a photo or he would call the cops (pictured), deputies said.

The photo was posted on the MCSO Facebook page Monday and he was quickly identified as Sikes.

He was arrested on Tuesday and faces multiple charges.