An 18-year-old woman is accused of stealing lottery tickets from dozens of stores and cashing in the winners, Kentucky cops say.
The Louisville Metro Police Department says Telnesha Antnetta Brown took more than $123,000 worth of tickets and merchandise during the crime spree that spanned four months. She was arrested Thursday, Aug. 24, on 76 charges.
From April 19 to Aug. 24, Brown and a “crime syndicate” of five others, including at least one juvenile, broke into 37 businesses, police said.
“The suspects would force entry into the business. Lottery tickets and other miscellaneous items were taken,” according to Brown’s citation. “And then the stolen tickets would be cashed a short time after the burglary.”
Police said the group often used the Kentucky Lottery’s mobile app to scan the tickets before cashing in winning tickets.
Brown was captured Aug. 24 after lottery tickets were stolen from a Louisville business, police said. She and the 17-year-old suspect went to a separate store to cash in their winnings, according to the complaint.
Officers pulled over Brown after she left the second store, and she initially tried to flee by reversing her vehicle into the cops’ cruisers, police said.
After being detained, she admitted to entering businesses “on multiple occasions” during the lottery ticket heist, police said. Brown also admitted to being the group’s getaway driver multiple times, according to police.
Brown, the 17-year-old and four others comprised the theft ring, according to court documents. The 17-year-old was arrested, but it’s unclear if the other four were.
Brown was charged with 37 counts of complicity to burglary, 37 counts of criminal mischief and one count each of complicity to engage in organized crime and complicity to receive stolen property over $10,000, records show.
Jefferson County District Judge Anne Delahanty released Brown on house arrest, WDRB reported.
“I’m going to take a chance, but I want you to understand, you’re 18. You’re very young,” Delahanty said during Brown’s initial court appearance, according to WDRB. “Your bond was set in the middle of the night at $10,000 — and I think that’s appropriate — but because of your age and your scores are very, very low and this is the first time you’re in trouble as an adult, I’m going to put you on home incarceration without any releases.”