Grand Theft Lottery Scam NR19113rc

April 24, 2019

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

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 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