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Ludowici police: Clerk stole $2,100 in lottery tickets

An employee of a Flash Foods in Ludowici was recently charged with stealing seven rolls of lottery tickets.

Police Chief Robert Poppell said Officer Sam Frank met with Flash Foods District Manager Don Bennet at the police department Monday in reference to a possible theft of lottery tickets.  

Bennett said he had discovered a trend of missing tickets from Flash Foods Store No. 22 on South Main Street. Bennett said he conducted an internal investigation and discovered video evidence of the store manager and an employee, Angela Cobeo, 35, taking tickets.

On Tuesday, Frank met with Bennett at the store where Cobeo was working. After the two confronted Cobeo with their findings, she confessed to taking the tickets, Poppell said.  

According to Frank, Cobeo said she intended to refund the money. But Poppell said because she was unable to refund the money at the time of the complaint, she was arrested.  

Poppell said a total of seven rolls of lottery tickets, with a total value of value of $2,100, were stolen. Cobeo was arrested and charged with felony theft by taking. She later made a first appearance at the Long County Magistrate’s Office, where her bond was set at $2,500.  

Poppell said in addition to the theft charge, Cobeo could face further charges from the Georgia Lottery Commission. No information on the store manager, who also might possibly be involved with the theft, was available at press time.

Poppell said three other thefts in the area resulted in two juveniles being cited and the Police Department asking for help finding two other theft suspects.

On Nov. 19, Officer Avery Mixon responded to the Dollar General on North Macon Street in reference to a shoplifting incident. When he arrived, an employee showed him video footage of juvenile male and female stealing a pair of boots.

Frank also responded to the scene and recognized the juveniles from a previous incident. Frank then contacted the mother of the two, and both officers met her at their residence. With the mother present, the female admitted to taking the boots, Poppell said.

Both juveniles were taken into custody and taken back to the Dollar General, where they returned the items and apologized to the staff members. The juveniles were both issued criminal trespass notices and ordered not to enter the store again. A juvenile complaint was completed, and the children were returned to their parents.

Poppell said that on Nov. 18 at the same Dollar General, a female who was driving a maroon GMC Yukon with a South Carolina license plate was believed to have shoplifted an item. On Monday, a Dirondack glider/rocker was stolen from the Long County Senior Citizens Center.  

He said that anyone with information on these two thefts is asked to contact the LPD at 912-545-2222.

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