Nfld. & Labrador

Woman steals credit cards, buys winning lottery ticket, gets arrested, police say

A 33-year-old woman was arrested at a lottery office in St. John's, and now faces fraud charges, after trying to cash in a winning ticket bought with a stolen credit card.

She thought she was cashing in on a $50K ticket, but the police were 1 step ahead

Police say the woman went to redeem the winning ticket at the Atlantic Lottery Corporation office on Hallett Crescent in St. John's and was arrested and later charged with fraud. (Google Street View)

A 33-year-old woman hit it big in the lottery, but ended up on the losing end when the Royal Newfoundland Constabulary charged her with theft of a credit card used to purchase the winning ticket.

The woman was arrested when she tried to claim the winnings at Atlantic Lottery's office in St. John's. She now faces two counts of possessing a stolen credit card and five counts of fraud.

When contacted by CBC News, a store owner in Paradise confirmed the Super Crossword scratch ticket was purchased at his shop, but declined an interview. He confirmed the prize was $50,000.

It all started last Wednesday, when police were called by a man who said his wallet was stolen.

His credit cards were used to make several purchases at stores in Paradise, including a lottery ticket that police said won "a large amount of money."

Police said the woman did not receive the money — in fact, an eyewitness to the arrest says she never made it close to the lottery office before four police cars surrounded the vehicle she was in.

Who gets paid?

There have been plenty of suggestions on social media that the winnings should go to the man who was allegedly defrauded.

However, Atlantic Lottery says it's impossible for someone to reap the rewards of somebody else's illegal exploits.

"Without commenting further on this specific situation, we do advise that Atlantic Lottery only pays prizes for lawfully acquired tickets," said spokesperson Natalie Belliveau. "We have a robust process in place with a series of checks and balances to ensure this."

If it goes unpaid, the $50,000 will instead go into the corporation's unclaimed prize account, which goes toward future jackpots.

In the process of making the arrest, the RNC stopped the vehicle in which the woman was a passenger. The driver, a 46-year-old woman, was ticketed for driving with a suspended licence and without insurance.

Police impounded the vehicle, released both women on promises to appear in court, and left them waiting on the curbside for a taxi.

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