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News Release

Wednesday, April 24, 2019

Media Relations

Grand Theft Lottery Scam NR19113rc

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department's Commercial Crimes Division, Burglary Special Section Detectives were investigating a series of Grand Thefts occurring in the Valley, Metropolitan Area and South Los Angeles. After a lengthy investigation, Nickey Yonko was identified as the suspect responsible for the Grand Thefts.

On August 18, 2017 to October 23, 2017, Yonko would enter several liquor stores and request to purchase California Lottery "Hot Spot" tickets. The store employee would print the tickets and place them on the counter. He then would distract the employee's attention from the printed Lottery "Hot Spot" tickets and retrieve expired tickets from his person and swap them out for the new valid tickets.
Yonko placed the new tickets in his pocket leaving the expired tickets on the counter. He told the employee he needed to retrieve additional money from his vehicle and would not return. The employee became suspicious when the suspect did not return and discovered the tickets were expired and not the ones he had printed.

The employees later reviewed surveillance video and discovered that Yonko had switched the freshly printed "Hot Spot" tickets with the older tickets. Yonko then walked out of the location with the stolen lottery tickets. The suspect is responsible for numerous grand thefts in the City of Los Angeles. The suspect is also responsible for similar Grand Thefts in Long Beach, Monrovia and the City of La Verne.

Nickey Yonko (AKA Steven John Adams)

On April 19, 2019, Nickey Yonko (AKA Steven John Adams) was taken into custody.
The District Attorney's Office has filed an arrest warrant for Nickey Yonko in the amount $60,000.00 for the above investigation.

Anyone with information about this case or has been a victim of a similar scam by Nickey Yonko, contact Commercial Crimes Division, Burglary Special Section Detective Prieto at 213-486-6940. During non-business hours or on weekends, calls should be directed to 1-877-LAPD-24-7 (1-877-527-3247). Anyone wishing to remain anonymous should call the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (800-222-8477) or go directly to Tipsters may also visit, and click on "Anonymous Web Tips" under the "Get Involved-Crime Stoppers" menu to submit an online tip. Lastly, tipsters may also download the "P3 Tips" mobile application and select the L.A. Regional Crime Stoppers as their local program.