CANDIA — A Portsmouth man has been arrested after a trail of stolen lottery scratch tickets led to his door.
According to Candia Police Chief Mike McGillen, the tickets were taken from Candia General Store, which suffered substantial damage from a November fire. McGillen said Smith was employed by a cleaning company that was helping restore the interior of the store at 177 Deerfield Road.
The crime, said McGillen, allegedly occurred on Jan. 9 and was reported by the store's owner on Feb. 18 after the New Hampshire Lottery Commission attempted to collect money due from the winning tickets.
The store's owner soon realized many tickets were missing. A subsequent investigation revealed the winners had been cashed in at the Phillips 66 gas station in Portsmouth and at the Irving gas station in Candia on Jan. 9 and 10.
When approached by Candia Police Sgt. Scott Gallagher, Smith reportedly admitted to the crimes, claiming that while cleaning the store he found a box containing the tickets. He has been charged with Class B misdemenor theft since the combined value of the winning tickets was less than $500.
He is scheduled to appear in 10th Circuit Court in Candia on May 7.