Make us your home page

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

Man accused of stealing $700 in lottery tickets from Hillsborough stores

TAMPA — It was a gamble that Paul Johnson lost.

At a quarter to 8 a.m., Johnson, 21, walked into an East Hillsborough convenience store and asked for $200 in scratch-off lottery tickets.

When the clerk set the stack on the counter, Johnson grabbed them and ran, Hillsborough County Sheriff's Deputies say.

An hour later, he walked into a Citgo convenience store about 5 miles away and again asked for $200 in tickets. This time, when he fled, deputies say, a witness was able to jot down the tag number of the maroon Toyota Avalon waiting for Johnson in the parking lot.

A half-hour later, Johnson, who lives in Winter Haven, took $300 in tickets from a nearby Hess Express store.

Minutes later, he was in a RaceTrac station in Plant City, cashing in one of the stolen tickets, deputies say.

How do deputies know this? The problem with robbing convenience stores is that most have surveillance cameras.

Detectives identified Johnson as their suspect, saying he stole the lottery tickets on March 9. He was arrested Wednesday on charges of grand theft and dealing in stolen property.

He was released on $2,000 bail.

Man accused of stealing $700 in lottery tickets from Hillsborough stores 03/22/13 [Last modified: Friday, March 22, 2013 4:09pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times


Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

  1. Rays morning after: Wilson Ramos showing glimpses of what's possible in 2018


    The real payoff for the Rays signing C Wilson Ramos last off-season will come in 2018, when he can play a full season fully recovered from right knee surgery.

    And Ramos is giving the Rays a pretty good glimpse of what that can be like.

    In Friday's 8-3 win over the Orioles, he hit a grand slam - …

  2. Buccaneers-Vikings Scouting Report: Watching Kyle Rudolph, Adam Thielen and Everson Griffen


    No matter how much film we study, no matter how much data we parse, we just don't know how an NFL season will unfold.

  3. Pinellas construction licensing board needs to be fixed. But how?

    Local Government

    LARGO –– Everyone agrees that the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board needs to be reformed. But no one agrees on how to do it.

    Rodney Fischer, former executive director of the Pinellas County Construction Licensing Board Rodney, at a February meeting. His management of the agency was criticized by an inspector general's report. [SCOTT KEELER   |   Times]

  4. Sue Carlton: Job or family when a hurricane's coming — a very Florida conundrum


    It must seem as foreign to Northerners as shoveling snow is to those of us raised in the Sunshine State: The very-Florida conundrum of having to choose between work and family — between paycheck and personal safety — when a hurricane comes.

    A hurricane helps the rest of us acknowledge the police officers, paramedics, hospital personnel, public works employees and others who stay on the job despite the storm. 
  5. After Tampa concert, Arcade Fire members party, preach politics at Crowbar


    After waiting more than a decade for Arcade Fire’s first appearance in Tampa, fans didn’t have to wait long for their second.

    DJ Windows 98, a.k.a. singer Win Butler of Arcade Fire, performed at a "Disco Town Hall" at Crowbar following the band's concert at the USF Sun Dome on Sept. 22, 2017.