Shop worker stole scratch cards to pay off debts

A 20-year-old man stole dozens of scratch cards from his employer in order to pay off debts, a court heard this week.

Sam Staines was caught on CCTV at the One Stop convenience shop on St John’s Road in Ely taking the cards from the counter and scratching them before collecting any winnings from the till.

Prosecutor Paul Brown told Cambridge Magistrate’s Court: “He had been working at the One Stop for nine months and during that period he was seen to be removing the scratch cards that were behind the till on CCTV.

“He was seen to be scratching the cards and taking the winnings from the till, he also removed cigarettes.

“He told police that he had a large debt that was outstanding with Argos which he was struggling to pay and by scratching the cards he was hoping to win enough money to pay off the debt.

“He told officers that he knew he wouldn’t get away with it and knew it was a matter of time before he got caught.”

In total, Staines, of St John’s Road, Ely, stole scratch cards and cigarettes to the value of �785.32.

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Pleading guilty to a charge of theft by employee, Staines told magistrates, “I hold my hands up to it, it was plain and straightforward.”

The 20-year-old was ordered to complete 100 hours of unpaid work.