By Dan Shriner
A Pontiac man, who posed at a state lottery official to steal lottery tickets and told police after his arrest that he “can’t stop stealing,” was stopped by Lake Orion police and others last week.
The man’s alleged crime spree came to the attention of Lake Orion police after they were called to the CVS Store on S. Broadway on a report of thefts of lottery tickets.
CVS management reported to officers that the Michigan lottery agent that services the scratch off ticket sale display reported an anomaly in tickets at the store.
A manager at the CVS told police that there have been reports of a man going to CVS locations and posing as an agent in an attempt to steal tickets.
Store management reviewed store surveillance video and discovered that on January 26 and again on January 29, the same unknown man accessed the lottery display by convincing store staff he was there to service the display.
About $1,350 in scratch off lottery tickets were allegedly stolen.
Lake Orion investigators worked with investigators from the Michigan Lottery Commission and collected video surveillance from other CVS locations across Macomb and Oakland counties that showed what appeared to be the same man attempting to and stealing lottery tickets at numerous locations.
Store video provided also information on a man’s vehicle and unique clothing he wore.
Detectives at the Warren Police Department got the suspect’s fingerprint from an incident in their community that led to the identity of a suspect as David S. Witherspoon, 40 of Pontiac.
Witherspoon matched the description of the person in the videos at all of the locations.
On April 1, Lake Orion police obtained and executed a search warrant on Witherspoon’s home in Pontiac, where evidence was recovered that connected Witherspoon to the crimes.
Officers also learned Witherspoon was already in the Oakland County Jail from an arrest two days earlier by the Wixom police department for felony fleeing and eluding police, and driving on a suspended license.
Lake Orion investigators interviewed Witherspoon who admitted to the crimes stating he finds himself “stealing all the time, I can’t stop stealing,” he reportedly said.
The case was taken to the Oakland County Prosecutors Office and on April 12, 2016 Witherspoon was arraigned on one count of first degree retail fraud, which carries a five-year penalty. He was arranged before 52/3 District Court Magistrate Marie Soma.
She placed him on a $10,000 bond. He is scheduled for a preliminary examination on April 28 before Judge Lisa Asadorian.
Police said Witherspoon has an extensive criminal history including multiple convictions for felony retail fraud, receiving and concealing stolen property, car theft, possession of heroin and bank robbery.
Lake Orion Police Chief Jerry Narsh said the arrest was a great example of police and law enforcement officials working together.
“This arrest would not have occurred without the cooperation between investigators at the Lake Orion Police Department, the State of Michigan Lottery Commission and investigators in multiple jurisdictions including the Warren, Sterling Heights and Auburn Hills police departments by sharing evidence and information allowing for case closures in multiple communities”
By Dan Shriner