Man takes a chance on stolen lottery tickets

Published 8:52 pm Friday, May 17, 2013

Robert Hooker

Robert Hooker


An Edward man is accused of breaking into a convenience store to steal lottery tickets.

Early on the morning of April 30, Beaufort County Sheriff’s Office deputies on patrol were checking on a business at Cross Roads Mini Mart in Blounts Creek, when Deputy Cody Burroughs saw the front glass door had been shattered, said a press release from the sheriff’s office. Inside, lottery tickets were missing.

Because of the store’s surveillance system, the thief was quickly identified, according to Maj. Kenneth Watson, spokesman for the sheriff’s office.

“This particular subject covered the back of his head with a towel but left his face uncovered. He had the towel draped across his head, however, you could still see his face on the video,” Watson said.

On May 9, sheriff’s office deputies, along with N.C. Department of Corrections officers, arrested Robert Benjamin Hooker, age 34, of Highway 33 East, Edward, and charged him with breaking and or entering, larceny after breaking and entering and possession of drug paraphernalia.

Had Hooker won with one of the nearly 100 stolen tickets, he wouldn’t have gotten a payout, according to Watson.

“Once tickets are stolen, they are quickly put in the lottery system as stolen, so any winning tickets that a thief might scratch off are not redeemable,” Watson said. “He got two felonies and could not redeem the tickets.”

Hooker was held in the Beaufort County Detention Center under a $15,300 secured bond.