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Tip helps Chesterfield Police make arrests in lottery ticket thefts

CHESTERFIELD COUNTY, Va. -- Chesterfield and Prince George Police said they teamed up to solve a lottery ticket theft case.

Police said thieves would ask clerks for several lottery tickets, and once the tickets were placed on the counter, the suspects would divert the clerks' attention by asking for cigarettes.

Crime Insider sources said once the clerks turned their backs, the thieves would grab the tickets and run away.

Similar incidents were reported to police at four convenience stores in Chesterfield, Prince George, Hopewell.

The suspects' run ended early Tuesday morning when three people were arrested in Matoaca.

"It’s unusual that they would be down this road," said Malcolm Bowles, who lives nearby. "I woke up a few minutes before 5 a.m. and all I could see were red and blue lights flashing in my bedroom window."

Crime Insider sources said when Chesterfield Police got tipped off that some of the stolen lottery tickets were cashed at a Chester convenience store, police were able to get security pictures.

Those same sources said Chesterfield shared their info with Prince George Police and within hours, they arrested Samuel Harrison, Nathan Elder, and Kelsey Sanchez on Hudson Street in Matoaca.

Samuel Harrison, Nathan Elder and Kelsey Sanchez

"They took two young men into custody and a short time later arrested a lady who had a baby with her," said Bowles.

Prince George, Hopewell and Chesterfield all have cases against the suspects.

Harrison, Elder and Sanchez were all booked at Chesterfield County Jail.

An eight-month-old child, who was with Sanchez during the early-morning traffic stop, was handed over to a family member.

Witnesses can send news tips and photos here.