Probation is sentence for woman caught stealing lottery tickets


OKEECHOBEE — Yuriheleng Gutierrez was sentenced on Jan. 20 to four years probation and fines after pleading no contest to possession of cocaine, grand theft, scheming to defraud and possession of drug paraphernalia. Two additional grand theft charges and four petit theft charges were dropped.

Gutierrez was arrested in November 2022 after her manager discovered she was taking scratch off lottery tickets for her own use without paying for them.

The manager called 911 to report the theft, and an Okeechobee City Police Officer was dispatched to the convenience store/gas station. The manager told the officer she was reviewing surveillance footage from the store’s cameras and saw Gutierrez take lottery tickets off the top shelf, scratch them off and scan them to see if they were winners. If the card was not a winner, she discarded it in the bottom of the trash can by the register. The total amount of stolen lottery tickets over two days, was $1,430.

Gutierrez agreed to speak to police officers and admitted the theft saying she knew she should have just gone ahead and paid for the tickets.

When she was arrested, she had a small plastic baggie containing cocaine and a straw containing a white powder residue in her bra

Adjudication was withheld.