BAXTER COUNTY, Ark. (KTHV) -Two men are in custody in the Baxter County Detention Center on charges related to the burglary of a convenience store in Lakeview and theft of lottery tickets.
On Wednesday, at approximately 9:41 p.m., Baxter County Sheriff's Deputies responded to a burglary alarm at the Snappy Mart Convenience Store in Lakeview. On arrival, deputies found that a window had been broken out at the store and an entry made. Preliminary observations revealed that a plexiglass display rack that contained a quantity of Arkansas lottery tickets was missing.
A joint investigation into the burglary was initiated by the Sheriff's Office and the Lakeview Police Department. It was determined that 1,116 scratch-off Arkansas lottery tickets had been stolen with a face value of $2,725. Lakeview Police officials immediately contacted the Arkansas Lottery Commission in Little Rock to report the theft in order that blocks could be placed on those tickets should anyone attempt to redeem winning tickets.
According to police, t approximately 11:12 p.m., a then-unidentified male attempted to redeem 21 scratch-off lottery tickets at the Flash Market #384 Convenience Store in Midway. This attempt was captured on the store's security video system. The Lottery Commission had already flagged the tickets as stolen, and the suspect was unable to redeem them. On Thursday morning, the same suspect attempted to redeem tickets at the Novak Liquor Store in Midway, which again were denied.
On Thursday afternoon, a woman came to the Sheriff's Office to file a report. She reported that earlier that day she was asked by 30-year-old David Scott Albrecht of Whiteville if she would like to buy some lottery tickets that had already been scratched off. The total of the winnings was indicated to be $87, and this woman gave Albrecht $27 for those 4 tickets. She then took them the Citgo Convenience Store in Gassville and attempted to redeem them. The store clerk indicated the tickets had been reported stolen, which the woman then reported to the Sheriff's Office.
At approximately 4:45 p.m. on Thursday, Sheriff's personnel and other officers executed a search warrant at the residence of David Scott Albrecht on Dupont Lane in Whiteville. During the search, officers found three scratch-off lottery tickets in the trash can in the kitchen. The numbers on the tickets matched those that had been stolen from the Lakeview Snappy Mart. Remnants of the plexiglass display case were found in a burn barrel outside. The search was completed at approximately 6:37 p.m.
During the investigation, 20-year-old Garrett Dean Marler of Lakeview was developed as the suspect in the Snappy Mart burglary, as well as the person who had attempted to redeem stolen lottery tickets at the two Midway businesses. Officers learned that Marler would be traveling by vehicle to his residence in Lakeview later that evening. Lakeview Police set up to watch for him. He was located and taken into custody. After being taken to the Sheriff's Office to be interviewed, Garrett Marler was booked into the Detention Center at approximately 1:37 a.m. on Friday. He initially told officers that the remaining lottery tickets had been destroyed, however 848 of the stolen tickets were later recovered at his residence in Lakeview. Some had been scratched off and some had not.
Garrett Dean Marler is being held in the Detention Center on the charges of Commercial Burglary (Class C Felony), Theft of Property (Class D Felony), and 24 counts of Lottery Fraud (Class D Felonies).
Marler has a bond of $35,000, and he is scheduled to appear in Circuit Court on November 21st.
David Scott Albrecht is being held in the Detention Center on the charges of Theft by Receiving (Class A Misdemeanor) and Contempt of Court (Misdemeanor Warrant - City of Gassville).
Albrecht has a bond of $790, and he will appear in District Court on November 21st.
Agencies involved in the investigation and subsequent arrests were the Baxter County Sheriff's Office, Lakeview Police Department, Gassville Police Department, 14th Judicial Drug Task Force, and the Securities and Fraud Division of the Arkansas Lottery Commission.