A Fair Haven woman is facing a felony charge after police said she took almost $700 in scratch-off lottery tickets from the Castleton Jiffy Mart where she was working in March.
Victoria Mackey, 30, pleaded not guilty on Monday in Rutland criminal court to a felony count of embezzlement.
Mackey was released on her own recognizance.
The charge is based on an affidavit written by Officer Edward Hayes, of the Castleton Police Department, who said he responded to a retail theft complaint at the Jiffy Mart on Route 30 around 2:20 p.m. March 22.
Hayes said he spoke with Keith Lotich, a regional asset protection manager. Lotich said the Jiffy Mart store manager had reported a theft of Vermont lottery tickets March 19 and 20 by an employee who was identified as Mackey.
Lotich said he and the manager had looked at store surveillance footage from March 19 and 20 that “clearly showed (Mackey) removing Vermont lottery tickets from the rolls and scratching them on the counter without paying for them.”
The value of the tickets was $698, according to the affidavit.
Lotich told Hayes that Mackey, when confronted, admitted taking the tickets and filled out a statement.
The statement said Mackey knew she was talking to Lotich because she took lottery tickets without paying for them.
Mackey allegedly said she took the tickets because she needed transportation to get back and forth to work.
Hayes said Mackey came to the Castleton police station on April 11 and gave a statement.
The affidavit said Mackey told police she had been working alone on March 19 and 20.
“That was when I made the wrong choice to grab about 20-25 lottery tickets and scratch them there on the front counter after customers left the store,” Mackey said in her statement.
According to the statement, Mackey brought about $400 home from the allegedly stolen tickets. She said she had kept the money and was willing to return it toward what she owes in restitution.
“I was having a hard time paying my bills and made the wrong choice,” she was quoted as saying in the statement.
Hayes said in the affidavit that he had checked Mackey’s criminal history and found she had been convicted in September 2016 of three felony counts of forgery.