VENICE, Fla.—An area manager of a store became suspicious of her store manager after the register till became short of lottery sales and contacted the local authorities.
This led to 28-year-old Joshua Pangio being arrested thanks to the store’s surveillance camera capturing him stuffing thousands of dollars’ worth of lottery scratch-off tickets into his backpack.
Man Said Financial Stress Led to His Decision to Steal
Police reports state that Pangio admitted to taking the lottery scratch-offs in an attempt to escape the financial stress of his everyday life.
He believed he was taking only $200-300 worth, but the amount actually totaled $2000. Since he was promoted to store manager in January, the amount of stolen tickets has accumulated $13,310 worth.
Pangio is being charged with Grand Theft less than $20L due to probable cause.
Liquor Store in Detroit Is Concerned About Lottery Being “Essential”
Michael Yaldo is the owner of a liquor store in Detroit. He’s hoping for clarification from officials about whether lottery ticket sales are deemed essential during the coronavirus outbreak.
“It’s not essential. Lottery is not,” said Yaldo—but thanks to Gov. Whitmer’s stay-at-home order, his store is still open because it is considered essential.
He says that residents are taking advantage of this and have been lining up outside his doors every day. And why? So that they can play the lottery. “We have two machines and they’re busy 24/7,” said Yaldo.
While some residents believe that keeping the liquor store open is important, Yaldo, who participates in the city’s Project Green Light Program, believes that it would be better if the store was shut down.
Unfortunately, not everyone is able to work from home. Some would rather have no job than expose themselves to the virus.
“I don’t care if they break in or not. We would rather close and go home and save these people’s lives and our lives.”
Statement from State of Michigan About Stay-at-Home Order
The state of Michigan released a statement, saying:
“Retail locations permitted to be open to the public under the Stay Home, Stay Safe order also may sell lottery tickets.
We urge players to take every precaution, follow the Executive Order, and only purchase lottery tickets if already at a store purchasing food, fuel, or other necessary items.
We encourage retailers to consider whether their location is conducive to appropriate social distancing, and we will deactivate the Lottery terminal for any retailer upon request.”