Nurse Caught Up in Armed Robbery Steals Lottery Tickets After Clerk Shot Dead
Posted on: February 1, 2022, 09:28h.
Last updated on: February 1, 2022, 10:29h.
A Georgia nurse who allegedly stole lottery tickets from a store moments after the clerk had been killed during a robbery has been charged with theft and tampering with evidence.
Initially a victim of the robbery, Lakiesha McGhee was playing video poker at the J&J Dollar Store in Warner Robins, Ga. shortly after midnight on January 18 when three masked, armed men burst in.
Security video from the store shows the men taking money from customers. McGhee is seen sitting at one of the gaming machines with a fistful of cash, which one of the men orders her to place into a bag.
Simultaneously, another man goes into the office, where, according to police, he found 43-year-old store clerk Sabrina Renee Dollar. Police say he shot her in the upper chest and struck her in the head with a pistol, killing her.
The suspects in the armed robbery are still at large.
Disabled Security System
Once they had fled, McGhee called 911 to report the shooting. But investigators say she checked Dollar’s wounds before helping herself to an unspecified number of lottery tickets from the office before first responders arrived.
Houston County Sheriff’s Capt. Jon Holland said she also disconnected the power to the building security system to conceal the alleged theft.
Holland said he believes the J&J Dollar Store was targeted by robbers because it was known for gaming and operates around the clock. According to The Macon Telegraph, the same store was targeted last year. But the clerk confronted the would-be robber with a meat cleaver and chased him from the premises.
“In recent years, those [types of stores] sometimes are targeted because people are in there spending money,” Holland said. “And the law doesn’t allow for cash payouts in these locations, but there are times when I think that may be occurring, and that’s part of the reason they would come and target it.”
COAMs Bending the Rules
According to Holland, the store is regulated by the Georgia Lottery Commission. The state began licensing “coin-operated amusement machines,” or COAMs, in 2013.
These machines are tolerated in one of America’s least gambling-friendly states because they’re only supposed to pay out vouchers for prizes or lottery tickets. In 2020, state residents gambled $3 billion on COAMs.
But according to the Georgia Bureau of Investigation, many venues are flouting the law by paying out cash. This moves them into the realm of illegal commercial gambling.
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