(KRON) – An Antioch man admitted to being the ringleader of a group that stole lottery tickets from 65 different stores across Northern California, the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office said Friday.
Ryan Anderson, 32, led a group that committed more than 100 thefts from convenience and grocery stores authorized to sell California Lottery Scratchers. The crimes happened in these counties: Contra Costa, Alameda, Marin, Sacramento, San Joaquin, Solano, and Stanislaus.
The total value of tickets stolen by the group is $95,565 with an additional $59,105 in prize money, per the DA’s office. The thefts happened between March 27, 2022, and Oct. 25, 2022.
Once Anderson was taken into custody, the crimes stopped, the DA’s office said.
“Organized retail crime is serious a crime that will not be tolerated in our communities,” said District Attorney Diana Becton. “We will continue to work with our retailers and all of our state and local justice partners to hold these offenders accountable with arrest, prosecution, conviction, incarceration, and full restitution.”
The California State Lottery said in a court hearing that Anderson and his group victimized not only the lottery but also its retail partners, “small, independently owned businesses that rely on the sale of Lottery games to thrive.” It also pointed out that some of the stolen funds would have gone to public schools.
State law allows the Contra Costa County District Attorney’s Office to prosecute Anderson for crimes committed in multiple counties.
“This is because state laws allow a single county to prosecute offenses if a crime — or the effects of a crime — crosses county lines,” the DA’s office said.
Anderson will spend three years in state prison, admit probation violations and pay restitution to the California lottery.