Texas

TCSO: Man Cashed Out $1K in Stolen Lottery Tickets in Travis County Accused of Fraud

TRAVIS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – In court documents filed Thursday, the Travis County Sheriff’s Office said it had issued an arrest warrant for a man accused of robbing two Travis County businesses in December, seizing several high-priced lottery tickets and then cashing them out.

Travis County court records showed that Michael J. Suniga, 48, was charged on January 10 with two counts of burglary and two counts of fraudulently obtaining a lottery prize. The documents state that the businesses were robbed on 8 and 21 December.

A TCSO detective said that the videos showed both cases of burglary, and a TCSO detective said that the suspect’s facial features were visible in one of the videos.

In both videos, the suspect, later identified as Suniga, used a yellow-handled hammer to smash the front glass doors of the businesses and break into the entrance.

In a December 8 video, a suspect, later identified as Suniga, is seen getting out of a car, breaking into a store, and stealing discounted lottery tickets from behind the counter. TCSO said Suniga was in the store for less than a minute before leaving.

The Texas Lottery Commission said $400 worth of stolen tickets were cashed in.

In the December 21 video, Suniga went behind the counter and took a lot of lottery tickets from the machines.

“Suspect targets $100 tickets,” the reports said. “No other items were stolen.”

TCSO said it received a spreadsheet from the Texas Lottery Commission that showed several stolen lottery tickets during the Dec. 21 incident were cashed in at another business 13 minutes later – one ticket for $500 and another for $100.

The Bastrop County Sheriff’s Office said it was working on multiple thefts with the same method as it did with TCSO.

” [BCSO] The investigator said the suspect entered the stores by smashing glass front doors with a yellow-handled hammer. The suspect also stole lottery tickets,” the TCSO said.

Zuniga was identified as a suspect in the case by comparing a photo of a driver’s license and a photo of a recent booking with a video of a business being robbed.

Suniga’s arrest warrant remained in effect as of Thursday, and as of Saturday, he had not been sent to the Travis County Jail.

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