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Bremerton man accused of stealing lottery tickets racks up thousands in winnings

PORT ORCHARD - A 25-year-old Bremerton man has been charged with first-degree theft with two special allegations for stealing lottery tickets from his employer and cashing them in at different stores in the area.

Rodney Vincent Fernandez was charged Wednesday in Kitsap County Superior Court with theft, punishable with up to 10 years in prison in addition to a $20,000 fine.

Court documents allege Fernandez took books of lotto tickets from the convenience store gas station where he worked and then cashed the winning tickets in at other stores in Kitsap, Mason and Pierce counties. His girlfriend also participated, but she told police that Fernandez told her he bought the booklets with his paycheck.

His girlfriend estimated they would bring in $1,000 to $2,000 a day with the tickets, saying in total she probably received $20,000 to $30,000 from the lottery tickets.

Fernandez admitted to police he stole the tickets from his work, saying he became addicted. His employer totaled the loss of the books to the store at $93,877.12. He also told police the thefts almost cost him his business, saying he had to take out a loan to keep it solvent.

Fernandez was initially booked on $125,000 bail, but has since been released. His next court date is in November.

Distributed by McClatchy-Tribune Information Services.

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