Police: Ex-employee stole $7,844 in lottery tickets from Niantic Henny Penny
East Lyme — A local woman who told police she’s addicted to gambling stole $7,844 in lottery tickets from the Henny Penny where she worked earlier this year, police said.
Lindsey J. Rochette, 35, of 7 Maple Tree Lane was charged on a warrant with second-degree larceny and first-degree computer crime after police spotted her voting at the East Lyme Community Center on Tuesday.
Police said Rochette began working as an overnight cashier at the Niantic shop in August 2017 and quickly became an assistant manager.
In a statement, Rochette told police she began buying scratch-off lottery tickets during her shifts and spent between $1,000 and $1,500 she had saved up.
Out of money, she told police she began scratching off tickets she had not purchased in the hopes of recovering the money.
Realizing she needed to account for those tickets, Rochette told police she used the register to return items that had not been purchased. She estimated she returned about 99 magazines to account for $1,000 and 10 to 20 propane cylinders for another $1,000.
The higher-than-usual number of returns during Rochette’s shifts tipped off her manager, Sandy Blazin, who obtained surveillance footage of Rochette’s actions and contacted police April 8.
In addition to the stolen tickets, police said Rochette stole $7,085.23 in fraudulent returns and $1,922 in lottery winnings from tickets she didn’t buy between March 25 and April 8.
Rochette told police she accepted responsibility for her actions and would do what she could to rectify the situation.
Released on a $5,000 bond, she is due Nov. 20 in New London Superior Court.
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