Newest Fresno Crime Spree: Lottery Ticket Bandits

Crooks are now hitting Fresno convenience stores in the middle of the night. But what they're targeting{}is surprising... lottery tickets. {}

The latest break-in occurred Saturday morning at the Fast 'n Easy in central Fresno. The thief found his way inside at 4:35 a.m. Manager Paul Arora says it was all caught on the store's surveillance camera. "Well it's really bizarre, but with the economy all bad I think whatever people could get away with{}I think they're trying to get away with."

What's really bizarre is after all the mess that the crook made knocking over shelves the only thing he took was lottery tickets. 918 dollars worth. Arora says the crook had to work fast to redeem the tickets because a little more than an hour after the break-in the California Lottery put an electronic stop on the tickets stolen.

The 918 dollars in stolen lottery tickets produced a total cash prize of 70 dollars. "This is a brand new trend they got into just taking scratchers, and{}I don't think it's worth it for 60 dollars. You're risking your life for 60-70 bucks."

Arora says{}damage to his store was 2-thousand dollars. At least three of the Arora family's other convenience stores in Fresno have been hit by lottery ticket bandits. He says there's been other break-ins at liquor stores all over town.