An employee of a Bath convenience store allegedly made off with 59 North Carolina Lottery tickets Saturday and cashed in the winnings a day later.
Several of the winning stolen tickets were converted to cash and a money order at a convenience store in Washington Sunday. The winnings from the stolen tickets totaled $102.
Jamie DeJong Carpenter, 24, of 23 Deerfield Lane, Chocowinity, was charged with one count of larceny by employee and two counts of obtaining property by false pretenses Wednesday after turning herself in to authorities.
Carpenter faces separate counts of the latter charge for the cash and the money order that were procured as a result of the theft, said Lt. J. Gentry Pinner with the Beaufort County Sheriff's Office.
According to a sheriff's office press release, the warrant was obtained as a result of evidence and information collected. Carpenter had knowledge of the warrant for her arrest, Pinner said Thursday.
The stolen lottery ticket numbers were reported to the lottery commission in further efforts to determine who was responsible for the theft, the release notes.
Pinner said this was the first lottery-related crime in Beaufort County investigated by the sheriff's office.
The theft occurred at the White Post Store off N.C. Highway 92 in Bath. The store owner had a system of tracking ticket sales that was helpful in determining which tickets were stolen, Pinner related.
This tracking method also enabled the owner to determine the tickets had been taken after the store closed Saturday, Pinner said. There were no signs of forced entry when the owner reported the incident to the sheriff's office Sunday, he added.
Carpenter was released Wednesday on a $2,000 secured bond.
Jeremy Mittag, an investigator with the lottery commission, said he could not comment on the specifics of Carpenter's case.
"There have been several cases like this," Mittag said.
The state has operated its education lottery since March 30 and already the commission has investigated dozens of cases of suspects stealing tickets, breaking and entering, committing larceny, as well as various degrees of fraud committed by retailers and players alike who are falsely reporting winnings and altering lottery tickets, Mittag said.