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Building owner charged after lottery tickets stolen

A Charlotte man was arrested Thursday after police said he went into a convenience store housed in a building he owns and stole more than $14,000 in Powerball lottery tickets.

Authorities charged Ermias Afework, 33, with second-degree burglary, grand larceny over $10,000 and a lottery violation, said Lt. Jerry Waldrop of the Rock Hill Police Department.

Afework, who was apprehended earlier this week at an airport in Washington, D.C., was brought to Rock Hill on Thursday night, Waldrop said.

Afework's charges stem from a series of incidents that occurred for nearly a year at a convenience store at 275 S. Charlotte Ave.

The store owners noticed discrepancies in their lottery inventory, Waldrop said.

"They started doing daily audits and determined that the lottery computer was being logged on after hours," Waldrop said.

The owners suspected someone was stealing the tickets and stayed at the store after hours to catch him.

"The individual entered the store using his key, turned off the alarm and went straight to the lottery machine," Waldrop said. "It's odd that an individual who owns a building would take advantage of his tenants."

Afework, whose bond was set bond at $70,000, remained in custody Friday at York County Detention Center.

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