$20,000 in Lottery Tickets, Cigarettes Stolen

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WILKES-BARRE -- A break-in at a Uni-Mart in Wilkes-Barre overnight was not your garden-variety convenience store burglary. The owner says he lost about $20,000 worth of merchandise.

This is surveillance video taken inside the Uni-Mart on Hazle Street in Wilkes-Barre.

The store owner says the suspect managed to get through the plexiglass door at around three in the morning and ravaged the cabinets and registers.

Uni-Mart owner Prasad Bobba estimates the suspect took about $20,000 worth of cash, cigarettes, and lottery tickets.

"We've got a lot of winners around here, so maybe he thought that he can just make more money by stealing the lottery tickets," said store owner Prasad Bobba.

The store manager says he took not one, not two, not three, but nine drawers worth of lottery tickets worth about $4000 to $5000.

"It's shocking. I mean anytime that I've ever come here. I've never had a problem. I've never seen anyone loitering or anything like that and they're always nice," said Sharon Tunnicliff from Wilkes-Barre.

Irene Clark lives in this house across the street. She did not want her face shown on camera, but she told Newswatch 16 she was surprised to hear what happened because she says the Uni-mart closes at 11. She says it doesn't stay open all night like most mini-marts.

"Usually you don't think that they're going to break in and rob you. From what you've been hearing all over the place, they're blatant. They just walk in with a revolver or a knife or whatever and just rob you in broad daylight," said Clark, of Wilkes-Barre.

The Uni-Mart owner says even with insurance, his store will take a huge hit from a burglary like this.

"It's a whiplash of sadness. And then we have to adjust a lot of money from our pockets until we get paid by the insurance companies," said Bobba.

Wilkes-Barre Police are asking anyone with information about the burglary to give them a call.