Man Faces Felony Burglary Charge after Surveillance Camera Captures Alleged Theft of Lottery Tickets, Beer
A Mendocino County man was recently arrested after allegedly burglarizing a local business and stealing lottery tickets and beer.
According to a press release by the Sheriff’s Office, an investigation began shortly after 7 AM on Sunday, March 12, when the Sheriff’s Office received a report of a burglary at a business on the 1400 block of Lovers Lane in Ukiah.
Deputies responded to the business and met with an employee who said they’d noticed several items missing while taking morning inventory, including lottery tickets (sometimes called “scratchers”). Deputies reviewed security footage from the previous night during closed hours; the footage reportedly showed a man at the business’s rear door, appearing to tamper with the the door’s locking mechanism.
According to the press release, the man is then shown entering the building and taking several items such as lottery tickets, cigarettes, and beer, then ultimately leaving the store. Deputies and other store employees reportedly recognized the man as 34-year-old Lorenzo Cruz, an unhoused man known to frequent the area.
After canvassing various areas Cruz was known to frequent, deputies reportedly found a vehicle with fogged windows outside a business Cruz was known to frequent. While the vehicle was found to be unoccupied, deputies noticed there was a six-pack of beer similar to the kind that had been stolen, as well as a pair of sweatpants inside matching the ones Cruz was seen wearing in the surveillance video.
At another local business, deputies learned that Cruz had cashed out lottery tickets. They eventually located Cruz elsewhere in Ukiah, reportedly in possession of stolen property, including lottery tickets and cash he had allegedly exchanged others for earlier.
Deputies placed Cruz under arrest on suspicion of felony burglary, and he was later booked at the Mendocino County jail on $15,000 bail.
It was unclear at press time whether or not Cruz had an attorney.