Make us your home page
Instagram

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

Loading...
  1. Philippines forces make gains in city under siege by ISIS-linked militants

    MARAWI, Philippines — Philippine forces say they now control most of a southern city where militants linked to the Islamic State group launched a bloody siege nearly a week ago.

  2. Rays exhausted but happy after 15-inning win over Twins (w/video)

    The Heater

    MINNEAPOLIS — Before the Rays eventually won Sunday's 6½-hour, 15-inning marathon against the Twins 8-6, they did plenty to lose it. And we need to get that out of the way first.

    The Rays’ Evan Longoria enjoys a laugh after scoring, barely, to tie it in the ninth on Steven Souza Jr.’s two-out single.
  3. Tom Jones' Two Cents: ABC's Indy 500 coverage is stellar again

    TV and Radio

    Times columnist Tom Jones looks back at the best and worst from a weekend of televised sports.

    Best coverage

    Takuma Sato left, celebrates after winning the Indianapolis 500 as Helio Castroneves is a little late passing him. ABC’s coverage of the race is stellar throughout, with plenty of extras but no fake drama.
  4. Takuma Sato surprise winner of wreck-filled Indy 500

    Auto racing

    INDIANAPOLIS — Takuma Sato, a journeyman driver, became the first Japanese winner of the Indianapolis 500 on Sunday when he held off three-time champion Helio Castroneves in a 230-mph wheel-rubbing duel to the finish.

    Scott Dixon’s car goes over the top of Jay Howard, soaring so high that Helio Castroneves drove under it while it was airborne. Stunningly, there were no serious injuries.
  5. South Korea military: North Korea fires unidentified projectile

    World

    SEOUL — North Korea launched a ballistic missile early today that flew 280 miles and landed in Japan's exclusive economic zone, the South Korean military and the Japanese government said.

    S. Korean President Moon Jae-in is assessing the launch.