Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Jackpot Eludes Lottery Ticket Thiefs

Maybe they thought they were going to hit the jackpot, but the only thing two Immokalee men won was a trip to jail Monday after deputies say they stole broke into a convenience store and stole lottery tickets.

Alejandro Roman, 42, 5920 State Road 29, #4, and Jose Francisco, 33, 5920 SR 29, #7, were each charged with burglary of an occupied structure and grand theft.

Reports say Roman and Francisco broke into Sunniland Country Store, 13213 Oil Well Road, Immokalee around 3 a.m. Monday by smashing the front window with a large rock.

They entered the store and stole scratch-off lottery tickets and beer.

Around 9:30 a.m. the store owner saw Roman, who matched the description of one of the burglars, walking along SR 29 just north of the store and alerted deputies.

Deputies drove Roman to his trailer so that he could retrieve his ID to verify the information he told them. Roman invited deputies inside his trailer and then gave them permission to conduct a search.

The search turned up lottery tickets under a mattress and several articles of clothing that matched the clothing worn by one of the burglars in the store surveillance video.

Roman told deputies that Francisco, who lived in a corner trailer, might have had something to do with the burglary.

Deputies then went to Francisco’s trailer, where he and another man were lying on beds in the living room. Deputies asked the two to lift up their mattresses, which they did, revealing lottery tickets underneath.