Burglars snatch $21,600 in lotto tickets, set store on fire - WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

Burglars snatch $21,600 in lotto tickets, set store on fire

COLUMBUS, GA (WTVM) -

When workers at the U Save Food Mart on Fort Benning Road showed up at 6 a.m. Monday morning—the place was engulfed in flames.

Burglars had made a surprise stop and snatched up 35 boxes of scratch-off tickets. After getting the lottery tickets and money from the cash register, they started a fire to cover their tracks.

The suspects came in through the roof and cut a hole in the ceiling, entering behind the counter-- beyond the bullet-proof glass counter.

"There were about 35 of those and they started a fire and went back in the same hole and after that they [were] gone," replied Baharit Khan, store manager.

The owners told News Leader 9 they have no doubt the burglars will try to sell the lottery tickets. But the people who buy them and try to cash in at another store can be easily caught because of the serial numbers on the back of the scratch-offs, which are tracked by the Georgia Lottery."

For now, crews are cleaning up the mess. The damage is estimated at $20,000 - add that to the more than $21,000 loss in scratch-off tickets, plus money taken from the cash register. 

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