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Florida store clerk accused of giving 'customer' $5 instead of $600 for winning lottery ticket

'Customer' was undercover lottery agent
Posted: 7:39 AM, Jan 26, 2018
Updated: 2018-01-26 20:01:07Z

Authorities in Southwest Florida arrested a supermarket clerk for trying to steal a winning Florida Lottery ticket from a "customer."

Police said a man gave a ticket to 42-year-old Crystelle Baton on Monday to scan. When Baton scanned the ticket at a Winn-Dixie Liquors store in Fort Myers, officials said she learned the ticket was worth $600.

Investigators said Baton did not give the man the correct winnings, but instead pulled $5 from her purse and told him that was what the ticket had won.

But according to the Florida Lottery Commission, Baton wasn't scamming a regular customer. She was attempting to take money from an undercover agent from its security division conducting a random visit.

The Florida Lottery regularly conducts undercover visits to make sure retailers are following the law.

Police arrested Baton on charges of grand theft. Officers later found the winning ticket in her notebook.

Winn-Dixie released a statement regarding Baton's arrest: "We are taking this matter very seriously as the trust and safety of our customers is our highest priority. The associate's employment has been terminated."

On its website, the Florida Lottery warns customers to sign the back of their tickets as soon as you purchase them to prevent someone else from claiming your prize.