GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

March 27, 2013

Woman charged in Lottery, store theft

By Marjorie Nesin
Staff Writer

---- — The former manager of a city convenience store is charged with stealing $21,000 in cash and 300 scratch lottery tickets from the shop over an eight-month period.

Police arrested 27-year-old Shannon Hill of Commonwealth Avenue after watching a surveillance tape of her taking money from a lottery register at Deo Braga’s convenience store and Dunkin’ Donuts outlet at the corner of Washington and Prospect streets, then taking a confession from Hill during an interview that officers began by asking Hill to watch the crime footage.

“It was obvious that Shannon Hill was very ashamed and uncomfortable watching herself steal money and lottery tickets,” police wrote in the report.

Braga initially reported the crime to police Friday, suspecting that Hill, who was convicted of various degrees of check forgery in a 2006 Gloucester District Court case, may have taken the money discovered missing from lottery deposits.

Police said surveillance tapes from inside the store allegedly showed Hill slipping cash from the lottery register, then walking into the store’s office and setting the cash on a table. The woman would then put other items on top of the money, before sliding it into her purse, the police report indicates.

“She would attempt to disguise the cash by placing papers or other items on top of the cash, before she would then place the cash in her pocketbook,” police said.

Police said the woman pulled lottery tickets straight from the dispenser, ripped the scratch tickets off the roll, and placed them in her purse.

During a police interview, Hill told officers that during the eight month period she stole approximately $680 weekly in lottery cash, taking from the register four to six times per week, police said. Hill also confirmed she had stolen the lottery tickets, but said she had only won about $5 in total, police said.

Braga is conducting an internal audit with a lottery representative to learn if any of the stolen tickets were cashed in, and to determine the extent of the cash and ticket losses.

Police charged Hill with larceny over $250 by a single scheme.

Gloucester District Court Judge Richard Mori had ordered Hill in 2006 to enter and complete the Discover program for drug recovery and to seek employment after finding her guilty on seven counts of forgery by check, five counts of uttering false checks, five counts of larceny by check under $250, and two counts of larceny by check over $250, according to Times archives. She was also sentenced to time served of 29 days in jail and a year’s probation on those charges.

That conviction came just a month after Hill had been one of two main targets of a cocaine distribution bust that netted five arrests.

Hill was also charged in that case on two counts of possessing cocaine as well as cocaine trafficking and distributing cocaine in a school zone, according to a police report published in the Times. Results of that case were not immediately available as of Tuesday night.

Marjorie Nesin can be reached at 978-283-7000, x3451, or at mnesin@gloucestertimes.com.