An Italian merchant was arrested at the Rome-Fiumicino airport as he was about to travel to Spain, after having stolen a winning ticket of $590,000 (500,000 euros) from a client, police announced on Monday.
The Italian press had been talking about the case for days, after the man fled on Thursday with the precious ticket, which was actually from a 70-year-old woman who went to her tobacconist in Naples to confirm that she had won.
According to investigators, after the theft, the merchant went to the city of Latina, between Naples and Rome, to deposit the winning ticket in a bank and be able to collect it later.
He was detained by the border police at the airport, with a plane ticket to the Canary Islands, in Spain.
At that time, he explained that he actually wanted to report a woman who accused him of having stolen her ticket, the statement said.
The prosecution opened an investigation for aggravated robbery, and the tobacconist’s license was suspended. Justice also ordered the seizure of the valuable coupon.
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