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Lottery winner guilty of attempted shoplifting

Oct 12, 2017, 10:34 am

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Massachusetts LotteryMassachusetts Lottery: Lottery winner guilty of attempted shopliftingRating:

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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13 comments. Last comment 3 years ago by dekla0.
Page 1 of 1
dpoly1's avatar - driver
United States
Member #66139
October 16, 2008
1998 Posts


Money can't fix stupid!

dpoly1 - Playing the lottery to save the jobs of those that build, transport, sell & maintain luxury items! -


Eschew Poverty ........... Vote Conservative!

    MillionsWanted's avatar - 24Qa6LT

    Member #9517
    December 10, 2004
    1795 Posts

    Money can't heal kleptomania.

      wander73's avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

      United States
      Member #153767
      March 24, 2014
      4896 Posts

      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 avatar - rocking horse.jpg

        United States
        Member #167650
        July 25, 2015
        118 Posts

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

          Raven62's avatar - binary
          New Jersey
          United States
          Member #17842
          June 28, 2005
          140776 Posts

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

          A mind once stretched by a new idea never returns to its original dimensions!

          Catch-22: A dilemma or difficult circumstance from which there is no escape because of mutually conflicting or dependent conditions.

          Corruptissima re publica plurimae leges: When the republic is at its most corrupt the laws are most numerous.

            music*'s avatar - DiscoBallGlowing
            USN United States Navy
            Fresno, California
            United States
            Member #157849
            August 2, 2014
            3959 Posts

            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. 


             "We are all in this together!" 

              Wyomissing, PA
              United States
              Member #161043
              November 15, 2014
              481 Posts

              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.

                Lotologist's avatar - Lottery-002.jpg
                New Member
                Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
                United States
                Member #181313
                April 21, 2017
                16 Posts

                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.

                  Lotologist's avatar - Lottery-002.jpg
                  New Member
                  Montgomery County, Pennsylvania
                  United States
                  Member #181313
                  April 21, 2017
                  16 Posts

                  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 avatar - Lottery-008.jpg

                    United States
                    Member #142493
                    May 13, 2013
                    1394 Posts

                    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 avatar - batman14

                      United States
                      Member #121739
                      January 16, 2012
                      7770 Posts

                      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.

                      Je vous salue, Marie, pleine de grace.  We will rebuild!

                        eddessaknight's avatar - nw paladin.jpg
                        LAS VEGAS
                        United States
                        Member #47728
                        November 22, 2006
                        7228 Posts

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

                        Avaritia facit bardus

                        Greed makes (Rodriguez) stupid.....

                          dekla0's avatar - Lottery-028.jpg
                          New Member
                          New Britain
                          United States
                          Member #185443
                          November 2, 2017
                          12 Posts

                          Yokatia Rodriguez Is This Bay can i have some ?