Lottery winner guilty of attempted shoplifting

Oct 12, 2017, 10:34 am (13 comments)

Massachusetts Lottery

SALEM, N.H. — A Tewksbury, Massachusetts, woman was found guilty Wednesday of attempting to steal $80 worth of lipstick from a Kohl's department store two months after winning $1 million on a scratch ticket.

Judge Robert Stephen ordered Yokatia Rodriguez, 40, to pay a $2,000 fine and serve 30 days in Rockingham County Jail if she is not on good behavior for the next year. Half of the fine and all of the jail sentence will be dismissed if she doesn't get arrested again, he explained.

According to court documents, Rodriguez was stopped by Kohl's loss prevention officer Michael Frawley on Dec. 21, 2016.

Frawley told investigators that he watched Rodriguez over video surveillance as she tried to leave the Cluff Crossing store without paying for some of the items in her shopping cart. She was accompanied by her 14-year-old son.

A receipt submitted as evidence shows that Rodriguez paid for $519.66 worth of merchandise that day, but not the five lipsticks.

Her attorney, Patrick Arnold, said Rodriguez is medicated for ADHD (attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder), which can still lead to "concentration challenges."

Rodriguez said on the stand that she "absolutely did not try to steal."

"It was four days before Christmas," she said, "It was hectic. I was there shopping for my kids."

Frawley explained to the court that he had an eye on the cosmetics section of the store because it's "our highest loss area."

"It's expensive and there aren't coupons for it," he said. "We lost about $15,000 in that one department alone last year."

He continued to watch as Rodriguez and her teenage son approached a cash register. The boy appeared to become stressed when it came time to pay, Frawley said.

"He seemed extremely nervous all of a sudden," according to the Kohl's employee. "He was pacing around and putting his hands up around his neck."

Frawley and Rodriguez both testified that during a conversation in the loss prevention office, Rodriguez admitted to telling her son to put things onto the counter to pay.

"(The boy) reacted by shaking his head back and forth," Frawley said.

According to Rodriguez, conversation became heated.

"He Googled my name and saw that I had just won $1 million," Rodriguez said.

He was "in my face," she said, and "yelling at me like I was no one."

"He was falsely accusing me," she said. "He was irrational, screaming, yelling. The only thing he didn't do is hit me."

Rodriguez said she offered to pay for the products when first questioned about them.

Prosecutor Jason Grosky countered that Rodriguez played an active role in the escalated argument, to which she admitted, "I became who I am not. I had been living a dream, where I had money in the bank."

Judge Stephen, despite hearing about how Rodriguez cleared $650,000 in lottery winnings, said he gave that no consideration during sentencing.

"You put a 14-year-old in an awful position. Not only did it send the wrong (parenting) message," he said. "But then at the first opportunity to explain this, you blamed him. It was a very poor choice on your part. Jail is reasonable for that."

Arnold did not immediately comment whether or not he will file an appeal in Superior Court.

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Eagle Tribune


dpoly1's avatardpoly1


Money can't fix stupid!

MillionsWanted's avatarMillionsWanted

Money can't heal kleptomania.

wander73's avatarwander73

Some people are just dumb.  It sounds like she spent all her winnings up and didn't have a gameplan.


Oh well it sucks for her.

OneTrickpony's avatarOneTrickpony

She's lucky that the judge didn't get Child Services involved.  Sad, all the way around.

Raven62's avatarRaven62

Seems like the Son did the Deed: Not the Mom!

music*'s avatarmusic*

Yokatia Rodriguez now has the responsibility of a lottery winner to stay out of jail and off the police blotter. Somethings which past jackpot winners have failed at. Shall I name one? Andrew Jackson "Jack" Whittaker. 



Quote: Originally posted by MillionsWanted on Oct 12, 2017

Money can't heal kleptomania.

Sad, but true. In my local area, there are two shoplifting cases that come to mind. One involved a high level school official and the other a well paid state trooper. In both instances, the amounts taken were relatively small. Both stole from big name retailers with zillions of cameras.

While ultimately it's her fault, it seems to me asset protection (AP) was looking for an easy apprehension. Watching cosmetics is like shooting fish in a barrel. $15K shrinkage (loss) over a year for such a department is small. Even more so, when one factors in Kohl's huge mark-ups. About the only way to shop that store is promos, plus sales, plus coupons, plus Kohl's Cash, plus some luck. Personally, too much hassle. On the bright side, she will likely save money in the future shopping Target, Amazon, etc instead.


It sounds like she was too stingy about hiring an extremely good lawyer also. A very good lawyer could have brought it down to a Massachusetts version of a "Summary Offense" found in Pennsylvania and have her recommended for treatment. By the way, looking at MA law, shoplifting less than $100 is on the lowest tier that carries a fine of $250 for a first offense. She probably did this plenty of other times for the potential punishment to be severe. If this was the first time, I would be shocked looking at it by a neutral standpoint. Maybe this will teach her to stop being stingy with the 600k or so she got.


Correction: I didn't realize she got in trouble in New Hampshire. She still should have hired a good lawyer and probably would have gotten into some type of diversion program.

Teddi's avatarTeddi

Quote: Originally posted by wander73 on Oct 12, 2017

Some people are just dumb.  It sounds like she spent all her winnings up and didn't have a gameplan.


Oh well it sucks for her.

You really think she spent $650,000 within 2 months of winning it?

Artist77's avatarArtist77

Quote: Originally posted by Teddi on Oct 15, 2017

You really think she spent $650,000 within 2 months of winning it?

I know. Really. Lol. More likely a klepto as millions wanted said.

eddessaknight's avatareddessaknight

Quote: Originally posted by Artist77 on Oct 15, 2017

I know. Really. Lol. More likely a klepto as millions wanted said.

Avaritia facit bardus

Greed makes (Rodriguez) stupid.....

dekla0's avatardekla0

Yokatia Rodriguez Is This Bay can i have some ?

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