Colorado police arrest thief who stole lottery tickets on two separate occasions

Criminal stole nearly $7,300 in lottery tickets; one more suspect remains unidentified

By Kate Northrop

PLATTEVILLE, Colo. — Following an investigation of two separate burglaries involving the theft of Colorado Lottery tickets, police have identified and arrested the perpetrator who organized both ordeals.

On Thurs., Oct. 22, Platteville police arrested Francisco Lorenzo Pedraza, 25, just hours after he was accused of breaking into a gas station on Justin Avenue.

At around three in the morning, Pedraza and another accomplice, whose identity is not known, stole a pickup truck from another gas station on 71st Avenue in Greeley. Using the stolen vehicle, they forced their way into the gas station in Platteville. Pedraza leapt over the counter in the convenience store and stole two packs of cigarettes and almost $3,000 worth of Colorado Lottery tickets. Afterwards, Pedraza and the other suspect drove the car back to Greeley at an unknown location to split the tickets.

They attempted to cash the stolen lottery tickets twice and failed both times — once at a grocery store on East 22nd Street in Greely and the other at a truck stop in Hudson.

However, this was not the first time Pedraza had committed the exact same crime.

On Sept. 18 at about 1:45 am, Pedraza broke into a different gas station in Platteville using an emergency hammer. Court records described Pedraza leaping over the counter, this time stealing nearly $4,300 worth of lottery tickets and getting away in a sedan. He managed to cash the winning tickets in at a grocery store on 35th avenue in Greeley.

According to Pedraza himself, he drove the pickup truck during the October theft while under revocation as a habitual traffic offender. The second offense was also more planned out with his accomplice, as they had set up a secondary getaway vehicle at an unknown location in Greeley.

After causing about $4,500 in damages to gas station doors, Pedraza was arrested on suspicion of two counts of second-degree burglary, driving under revocation, criminal mischief, aggravated motor theft, theft, and conspiracy.

Pedraza is detained in Weld County Jail as of this morning.

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