North Bay News

Man arrested for trying to cash in stolen lotto tickets

Wednesday, March 09, 2011

A Rohnert Park man suspected of stealing California Lottery scratch-off tickets from a Cotati convenience store last week was arrested Tuesday night after he was caught cashing them in, a police sergeant said Wednesday.

Chilico Hart, 31, is suspected of breaking into the Fast & Easy Mart at 7500 Commerce Blvd. in Cotati at about 4:20 a.m. on March 2, Cotati police Sgt. Chris Parker said.

The glass front doors were shattered, and the store's surveillance camera captured the burglar taking several boxes of lottery tickets, some alcohol and cash from the registers, Parker said.

Cotati police and the California Lottery's law enforcement division identified several locations where the suspect had cashed the stolen scratch-off tickets and obtained additional images of him, Parker said.

Cotati police Officer Eric Bilcich spotted a man wearing the same clothing as the burglary suspect in the convenience store video, and stopped him at about 9:40 p.m. Wednesday near Old Redwood Highway and state Highway 116, Parker said.

Police arrested Hart and recovered almost all of the stolen property from his Rohnert Park hotel room, Parker said.

Hart was booked into Sonoma County Jail for burglary.

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