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Two arrested in theft of thousands of dollars in lottery tickets in Placer County

Main Street in Placerville
Two men were arrested on suspicion of stealing thousands of dollars in lottery tickets in Loomis and Placerville, shown.
(Christopher Reynolds / Los Angeles Times)

A man and his stepson suspected of breaking into a Placer County deli and stealing lottery tickets worth about $25,000 have been arrested, sheriff’s officials said.

Security camera footage from the incident last month shows two men, wearing hoodies and masks, prying open the front door of Woody’s Market and Deli in Loomis, slipping inside and then emerging moments later with their arms full of boxes.

The boxes held $25,000 worth of lottery scratch-off tickets and $500 in cigarettes, according to the Placer County Sheriff’s Office. With the help of a California lottery investigator, sheriff’s detectives traced some of the tickets to a Sacramento business, where 23-year-old Edward Caviness had recently cashed in tickets worth about $650, according to the sheriff.

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“Each of these scratchers is serialized, so if you report that you’ve had a theft, I think the investigative agency that deals with these lottery tickets ... [inputs] those serial numbers, and they basically check off something that says it’s stolen,” said sheriff’s spokesperson Angela Musallam. “So if you try to redeem it anywhere else, it’s going to come up as stolen.”

Other tickets led detectives last Thursday to Rocklin, where they found 39-year-old Kawika Guthmann, Caviness’ stepfather, at a Days Inn motel with several items related to the Woody’s burglary, such as clothes that matched what one of the burglars in the security footage was wearing, according to Musallam. Later that day they found and arrested Caviness, Musallam said. The men, both Sacramento residents, were arrested on suspicion of commercial burglary and conspiracy.

Caviness was also charged with committing a felony while out on bail, according to the Sheriff’s Office. Guthmann had outstanding warrants in Amador and El Dorado counties, according to arrest records, plus two felonies in Placer County.

In Guthmann’s hotel room, authorities also found more lottery tickets that may have been taken in a burglary at a Placerville liquor store last week.

According to the El Dorado County Sheriff’s Department, at least two suspects stole a white Ford truck from a local hotel and about 4 a.m. Wednesday drove to a liquor store in Placerville, where they smashed open the door with the truck.

Security camera footage shows a man scurrying behind the counter, where he pulls out reams of lottery tickets,gathers them up and then runs back out the door, a roll of tickets trailing behind him.

The truck was found abandoned a short distance away, according to sheriff’s officials.


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