A trio of senior citizens bilked a local convenience store out of over $6,000 in cash and merchandise after damaging gambling machines, according to Bulloch County sheriff’s reports.
Deputy William Sims responded to a call about the theft, speaking to a man in charge Thursday at the Gateway Chevron convenience store on Hwy. 301 South, according to reports.
Himanshu Patel told him a “large” elderly man with a cane, accompanied by two elderly women, one on crutches, spent about three hours playing on gambling machines located at the rear of the store.
The man racked up $3,240 in store credits, which he used to purchase $3,100 in lottery tickets, $100 in groceries and $40 gas, Patel said, as stated in reports.
Patel later discovered the gambling machines had been tampered with, and one was pried open. He told Sims $3,346 in cash was missing.
Surveillance video shows the male suspect forcefully pulling on the machine, and Patel stated he must have had some sort of tool to pry it open. The video shows the woman on crutches reaching into the machine and removing what Patel said was the $3.346, which he said the man had to have originally placed in the machine in order to win the $3,240 credit, reports stated.
The cash, paired with the store credits used to obtain the lottery tickets, gasoline and groceries, meant Patel lost a total of $6,586, Sims reported.
Patel was to have turned over copies of the store surveillance video to the Bulloch County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division Friday, said Chief Deputy Jared Akins.
The case remains under investigation. Anyone with information about the incident may submit anonymous tips to email@example.com or call (912) 764-8888.
Herald reporter Holli Deal Saxon may be reached at (912) 489-8414.