A thief stole a display cabinet full of North Carolina lottery tickets this weekend, but his ill-gotten booty turned worthless almost immediately.
"As soon as we are notified (of a theft), we deactivate those numbers, and the tickets cannot be redeemed," said Pam Walker, communications director for the N.C. Education Lottery.
Each ticket has an identification number, and lottery officials keep computerized records of which tickets are allotted for each vendor in the state, Walker said.
The theft occurred about 11:30 p.m. Friday at the Fuel Doc on Country Club Road, police said.
A man walked into the store, grabbed the plastic display stand with 600 tickets inside and walked out of the store, police said. Then he drove off in a red and white pickup truck, witnesses told officers.
The suspect is described as a white man with black hair and a medium build, standing about 5-foot-5 and weighing 150 pounds. He was wearing a gray plaid shirt and blue jeans.
The lottery commission was notified of the theft soon after it occurred, police said.
Anyone with information about the holdup can call the Twin County Crime Stoppers at 977-1111. Crime Stoppers pays rewards for information that leads to arrests.